Too Thrifty Chicks

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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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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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Food for Thought Friday: Reflections on Community

Reese’s Reflections on Community

BGR! Drive to End Hunger Race, September 2012

BGR! Drive to End Hunger Race, September 2012

So much has changed in a matter of months. I’ve moved, gotten a new job, started the Too Thrifty Chicks venture with Ricks, and met some incredibly fascinating people. Ricks and I started Operation Do Better to tackle debt and save money, and that has been more of a blessing to each of us and others than we could have ever imagined. Life is moving…and I’m trying to move with it.

About a month before we officially moved in together, Ricks sent me a blog post called, “Create a Superhealth Community.”  It couldn’t have been more on time. The very morning that she sent it, I was freaking out about moving and all the changes that would happen. I lived alone at the time — and for good reason. A year and a half prior, I was in a challenging roommate situation that convinced me that if I was

going to have another roommate, surely it would have to be my life partner. Living alone really spoke to my inner solitude. If I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I didn’t have to. If I wanted to hide my head under the covers all day because I didn’t want to be an adult, I could do that. Going back into a roommate situation freaked me out because I knew I would be in a space where I’d have to be mindful of someone else. And not just anybody. Someone who I had only recently developed a friendship with.

PhotoGrid_1355085713560Because of some shared experiences (including a roadtrip to ATL for a race), I had developed a deep appreciation for Ricks, particularly her character, her style, and her willingness to see life as a series of adventures worth tackling. I had a number of concerns about moving. Worry about damaging our newly formed friendship was not the least among them. But, even in my freaking out, my spirit knew moving was the right thing to do.  The blog post Ricks sent calmed me and reminded me that (as Ricks put it) “It’s good for us!”

And indeed it has been. I am overwhelmingly grateful for the community my roommate and I have built in our home space. I think my first “ah ha” moment about this came when Ricks went off to Florida for a week for work sometime in December. The weirdest thing happened: I actually missed my roommate! Dinner and TV alone wasn’t as appealing to me as it had been, not because I don’t like quiet time (there are times where we’re in the same room and never talk), but because the equilibrium of our shared space felt off. When I picked her up from the airport, it was like a flood gate opened. We talked a mile a minute for hours (literally), finishing each other’s sentences as we sometimes do. Perhaps for the first time, we realized that whatever our respective life journeys are, we were destined to support each other along the way.

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BGR! DC at the Crystal City Twiligher, July 2012

We joke about how often we’re #twinning (thinking/doing the same thing) but even in those jokes there’s a bit of affirmation/comfort in knowing that as much as another human can understand me, she does. Our home is a place of laughter, silliness, transparency, and comfort — all of which (I think) people feel when they come visit. Several of our friends have joked about wanting to come live with “the thrifty chicks” and we always reply with something like “Come on! There’s an air mattress for you!” We’re quite lucky to have each other, but I think we’re equally lucky to share our lives and adventures with the people in our lives. It’s a great reminder that our individual lives are never solely about us. We all have some role to play in others’ journeys.

Goodwill Shenanigans, November 2012

Goodwill Shenanigans, November 2012

The warmth and encouragement of community isn’t limited to our in-person encounters. Everyday we’re amazed at the level of honesty and accountability exhibited in our small but faithful group of friends and friends of friends who are committed to Operation Do Better. In our Facebook group, we post our successes and struggles, cheering each other on like we’ve known each other for years when in reality, most of us have never met in person. In just a month’s time, people have had exciting victories and we can’t wait to see what will happen by the end of 2013! Empowerment is happening…and it feels great to be a part of it!

We’ve been meaning to write a post about ‘community’ for a while now, because we spend a lot of time talking about it. In some ways, I think it’s hard to write about just how important community is. The gratefulness I have for the people in my life sometimes can’t be put into words, but I hope my actions toward them shows my appreciation. There is one thing I wholeheartedly believe: if there is to be genuine change in this world, if there is to be healing where hurts exists, it will start with the relationships each of us build with each other. Wholeness can only be accomplished through community building.

Inaugural Parade 2013

Inaugural Parade 2013

A word about community from Ricks…

When I reflect on the four years that preceded my moving to the D.C. metro area, I can only describe them as solitary. I had tons of friends and great work colleagues, but I lived alone. And the only-child in me that places a high value on her private, quiet, personal space thought that I liked it that way.

But the truth of the matter is I always lived as if I was going to suddenly be whisked away from the tiny house where I lived. It was sparsely furnished because I really only slept there. It wasn’t a place where I entertained friends over meals that we cooked in my tiny kitchen together, and it wasn’t a place where I watched movies and drank wine with a so-called “significant other.” It simply was the place where I slept and got dressed for work every morning. It wasn’t a place that I considered home.

Foolishness + Race Day, BGR! Race to End Hunger September 2012

Foolishness + Race Day, BGR! Race to End Hunger September 2012

When I moved, I knew I wanted things to be different, but had no real thoughts or ideas about how to change that, or any inclination of what I was really trying to change. I was a full participant in this world where self- reliance and independence are valued above connecting with others. Being transparent enough to let others help me in ways I didn’t know I needed help was something that I craved, but I had no clue how to let my guard down. How I solved this dilemma that I didn’t even know I was having is rather unique because I didn’t solve it at all. It solved itself.

First, friends of a friend opened their doors and their furnished basement to me to give me an opportunity to get my sea legs in a new town and to look for a place to live. They were a sweet, fun couple who took a chance that I wasn’t a horrible person. I mostly kept to myself, but they were always friendly. Whether it was helping me get my things out of my packed car when I first arrived on a cold, rainy afternoon at the end of March 2011 or lending me a fleece so that I’d have something warm to wear in Afghanistan, I couldn’t have had a nicer introduction to a scary new place.

The last chipotle supper before the spending fast, December 31, 2012.

The last chipotle supper before the spending fast, December 31, 2012.

I was baffled at how to make friends in a strange new place, so I reached out to colleagues who I knew lived in the area and fell back on my sorority ties to connect. These were all things that I’d done in the past whenever I moved to a new area. But it didn’t work as I had intended. Where I thought I’d find a comfort zone was non-existent. It’s like the universe wanted me to do something completely new, so I did. I managed to connect with a friend, who wasn’t a friend when I originally met her because in the space that we used to know each other, we didn’t really “know” each other. (You caught that right?) I also deepened a friendship that started in the place that I had just left.

Through Meetups, church and getting involved in other organizations

Ricks and Reese out on a trail run with one of our favorites, January 2013

Ricks and Reese out on a trail run with one of our favorites, January 2013

I have made and built friendships that have been a blessing to me and continue to be so. Through these friendships is also how I met Reese. If two spirits were ever destined to meet and make friends, then we are those spirits. I’ve been fortunate enough to have roommates exactly at key points in my adult life when I needed them. But Reese is truly the first person that made me think about the value of shared space and shared investment in the deepness of each other’s lives. I’ve been fortunate enough to like all of my previous roommates and even had deep affinity for one or two, but this is different. It’s a rare thing to live with someone who just gets you. Most people expect this type of synergy to come in their romantic relationships and maybe for some people it does, but she and I are like peas and carrots. We just go together. And it’s good for us.

Breakfast at the thrifty palace.

Breakfast at the thrifty palace

When I learned my mother was diagnosed with earlier onset Alzheimer’s and started reading up on the things that can contribute to this devastating illness, I came across this New York Times article about an island of people who regularly live to be 100 or older. These centenarians get regular exercise by walking everywhere because they don’t drive, they drink a little wine regularly, and grow a lot of what they eat. But what struck me most was that though some of them had lived through tragedies, including the death of their own children and even being diagnosed with cancer, they had each other. They enjoyed each other’s company and had stimulating conversations.

Trail run, January 2013

Trail run, January 2013

In our country, it’s common place that getting older means losing friends and family to death and illness. After the death of a spouse, or even divorce, some people never find love again and live out their lives in solitude that gets louder and louder as they get older. One day you look up and everyone that you used to know is gone. You drift away from meeting new people, disengage from the things that used to bring you joy because you no longer feel like you have anyone to do them with. This also can happen to single people as their various friends go off down the traditional path of getting married and starting families.

534590_696624856290_1972075459_nBut many studies have shown that connecting to a community of people and engaging in acts that keep you mentally stimulated and involved, whether they be with family or friends, is vital to your health.

As Reese mentioned about the blog post I sent to her, it’s good for you. So often, I think we get caught up in the idea that when you’re an adult, you shouldn’t really need anybody that isn’t your so-called “significant other.” Some might even argue that you can only have this kind of relationship with a spouse. But I disagree. Investing in the lives of others and making real connections can happen in any kind of relationship if you let it. I believe that this adventure with Reese is teaching me to value all of my relationships individually and collectively, to not place more pressure on one than another, and to find ways to connect with others and build community wherever in the world I might be because ultimately it is for my good and the greater good of others.