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Ruffles, Corduroy and Maxis

October 31, 2016

Hello, friends! Your Family Store fashion guru- back again!

Fall is on its way (slowly, but surely). Is anyone else ready for its arrival?! Since I can’t be with you as you’re reading this, I will take your silence as a resounding “Yes!”. Not only am I excited about fall candles, comfort foods, and colder weather- I’m excited about fall fashion!

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Styles that I am most excited about this season?? Dresses and skirts, a fashion move a bit outside of my comfort zone! But with an abnormally warm fall this year, pulling out jeans and the sweater collection has not been an option. To bring about a fall fashion feel (while staying cool), I’m diving into maxi dresses!

Dresses can feel somewhat formal to some as they are typically the staple for important events. Fall, for me, certainly has a taste of formality to it as the temperatures drop and the steady flow of major holidays, aka, holiday parties, come and go. But I want to make dresses an everyday wear kind of fashion this fall! It may seem odd or uncomfortable at first, regardless, I’m doing it. And I’ll tell you how to do it to!

>> OUTFIT 1 <<

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Here, we have a super incredible, vintage dress made of corduroy. I have a tank underneath because it’s still criminally hot, BUT, as cold comes, I’m throwing mock turtlenecks underneath. Keep your eyes peeled for this fabric!! I say grab dresses, pants, jackets, anything in corduroy because it can be dressed up or dressed down.

It partners wonderfully with silk for an elevated look or with cotton / knit for a cozy casual.

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Corduroy Outfit Total: Dress $4, Tank $2, Clutch $8, Shoes $9

>>OUTFIT 2<<

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Another style I am LOVING this season is ruffles. Check your local mall and you’ll find ruffles in every store. They are making a come back!! Luckily, ruffles are a vintage classic aka thrift store specialty. I found this awesome ruffle shirt at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store– and there are more ruffles to go around! The detailing on top can really enhance a simple outfit. It’s also a great transition piece- perfect for work and your after-hours activities! Ruffles for the win.

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Maxi skirts are another staple that I can always count on The Salvation Army thrift stores to have. Last year, I was in the market for cotton maxi skirts to knot at the bottom (thus, creating the high/low silhouette that rose to popularity). But this year, I think I’m going after different fabrics and fun patterns! This skirt is denim, a fabric that is never wrong in fashion.

**Sidenote: many people are dedicated to wearing black clothes for the sake of comfort and easy matching. A great way to add color to your closet is through skirts! They come in all sorts of patterns, but their simple shapes make the patterns way more approachable.

kristie-fall-4Incorporating unique fabrics and fun patterns can be a challenge! Hopefully, you now have a blueprint for success in these fashion challenges, and in no time, you’ll feel comfortable in things you never used to wear!

Until next time, HAPPY FALL!
XOXO -The Family Store Fashonista

Celebrate Fall with Thrifty Finds

September 22, 2016

GUEST POST | Talya Boerner of Grace, Grits and Gardening

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Fall has arrived bringing all my favorite things—turning leaves, harvest on the farm, and the promise of cooler weather.  I like to celebrate it, too, by enjoying supper outside. Something as easy as a change of scenery can feel cathartic after a long summer!

fall-thrifting-turkey

Spiff up your tablescape up with a few “new to you” thrifty finds from your local Salvation Army store, and you’ll swear you’re on vacation.

Thrifting is a treasure hunt for me, and I can spend hours (okay, days) on the prowl for that next fun find. Come along with me as I share a few of my thrifting tips and recap my recent trip to the Salvation Army store in Rogers.

Go with a plan and a budget.
I knew I wanted to freshen up my fall dining decor so I focused on kitchenware and knickknacks with an autumn flair. And I limited myself to a $25 dollar budget.

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Keep a creative, open mind.
Channel your craftiest self. Can you paint it, clean it, or repurpose it in a unique way?

Take your time and leave no stone unturned.
Go when you have lots of time to browse. Make several passes through the store. Be sure to hit the craft area. Look under tables and in boxes. Jewels have a tendency to hide.

Research items.
If you find something you want to know more about, Google it. You have your smartphone with you, right? You never know when you may uncover a valuable antique.

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So what did I buy??

2 stoneware dinner plates $1.00 each

2 green salad plates $1.00 each

2 mismatched saucers (Homer Laughlin) $0.80 each

Small pitcher $1.00

Vintage glass mug $1.00

Large round platter with flower patterned motif $3.00

Ceramic owl bank (unpainted) $1.00

Turkey (made from feathers and leaves) $2.00

2 candlesticks $1.00

Fabric scrap (great colors!) $1.00

Small piece of granite $2.00 (cheeseboard or candle base?)

Bag of brown leather-ish flowers $1.00

Roll of ribbon $1.00

Heavy acorn $2.00

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I wasn’t sure what I would do with the flowers or ribbon, but I decided to make garland with it. The bag contained LOTS of flowers, and when I ran out of my new ribbon, I dug into my own stash. Stringing garland makes any party more festive, don’t you think?

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I’m a sucker for mismatched plates, and I love these!!!

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The ceramic owl? He’s technically a piggy bank with a slot in the back. I spray painted him using leftover paint I had in the garage, placed him on my $3.00 platter, added a little cotton (from our farm), and topped the vignette with a glass cloche. Instant centerpiece!

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My before table on our side porch looked plain and boring after a serious case of end-of-summer neglect…

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Afterwards, I’m ready to ring in fall!

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I’m always surprised at how far my money will go when I buy second-chance items.
Happy Fall, y’all!

***

Want more from Talya?
You can catch up with her on…

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Talya draws inspiration from nature and appreciates the history behind food, family, places and vintage things. She blogs at Grace, Grits and Gardening and has been published in Arkansas Review, Front Porch Magazine, Delta Crossroads and several on-line publications including Deep South Magazine. Talya believes most any dish can be improved with a side of collard greens. Her award-winning debut novel, The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee, is available at Barnes & Noble, via Amazon, and at certain indie bookstores.

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Office Renovation Inspiration

May 26, 2016

OFFICE RENOVATION
Work environment is very important to any healthy, functioning team! Life is a whirlwind here at The Salvation Army, and we often forget to take the time to care for ourselves (and our space!) as we are caring for others in need.

But this month, we decided that this 10 year old (probably older than 10 years!) paint job needed a refresh! So we cleaned up, cleaned out, painted and redecorated. And along with the new paint, came some new office furniture pieces that we found at our thrift stores!! So check out our Office Reno inspiration and maybe you’ll catch the renovation bug!

BEFORE PICSPhoto May 02, 15 16 32

Before: Our offices were outdated to say the least! For starters, the bland, neutral walls needed some pep. Several of the office colors did not match leaving the space feeling incoherent. Many of our walls had lovely wallpaper borders gracing the ceilings- yikes! And the carpet was a blue, grey mix- simple, but old and worn.

Paint Colors

Prep Work: We chose a neutral, putty color called Haze from Behr as the base color and used Forbidden Red and Alter Ego for accent walls. The carpet is jewel-toned giving the space a professional feel with a splash of deep red color.

AFTER PICSPhoto May 24, 11 16 56
Want these FREE prints? 1) Pineapple 2) Moon Phases 3) Vintage American Airlines 4) Cacti 5) Vintage Camera 6) Woodcut 7) Ampersand (printed in Publisher) 8) Hexagons

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After: The new paint, and fresh carpet really gave our offices a great new look! We took the wallpaper borders down (woo!) and painted old, orange wood cabinets a neutral color to give them a more polished professional look!

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1) These comfy chairs were found at our Fayetteville Thrift Store and listed for $69.50 as a set. Perfect for our HR office!
2) Love this shelf that I found at our Fayetteville Thrift Store. It came in a subtle green, but after some sanding and a new paint of coat, this brilliant white makes a nice statement against the purple wall!
3) This craft table came from our Rogers Thrift Store listed at $35! The original wood was beautiful so we sanded down and finished off the job with an English Chestnut interior stain. Loving the new standing desk!!
4) This great side table was also found at our Rogers Thrift Store. For a vintage look, the table got a neutral paint color with some intentionally roughed edges.

Life Cycle, Upcycle

May 2, 2016

Guest Post | Keisha McKinney of Big Pitt Stop
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Clean up and clean out. We all have to do it at one time or another.

My recent marriage brought with it a big move across the state. While excited about combining my life with my love, I was a little overwhelmed at all the “stuff” in my life. You see when you’re a single gal, it’s pretty easy to justify why you have everything you have.

But, when you have to tell a guy why you need 3 different sizes of kitchen spatulas or the difference between “pretty” baskets and “utility” baskets, words begin to fail you.

And then to justify it to the people loading boxes into a moving truck…you start thinking about all the things it might be time to get rid of. And, since I’m surrounded by loads of generous people in my life, my “things” I had collected while living on my own as an adult for 12 years were being replaced with new wedding gifts. Since I don’t really like waste in any part of my life, I wanted to do something beneficial with the items I was purging from my place.

Enter The Salvation Army Thrift Store!
The perfect opportunity to clean out my good things and give them to a good place.

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I had recently read this article about Opportunity on The NWA Salvation Army blog and it was such a good reminder of the “new” life my “used” things could find. And, when I did a little research and found out that The Salvation Army Stores in Northwest Arkansas fund a free Alcohol Addiction Recovery Program in the area and that $.82 of every dollar sold in their stores are reinvested into the programs provided by The Salvation Army, I WAS SOLD.

As I cleaned out closets, emptied drawers and finally looked in those boxes in my garage, I found myself more motivated as I thought about the stories of the lives that would be changed.

Hope. Opportunity. Championing. Support.

Those were the words that went through my mind as I built the mound of donated items in my living room. And, these were good items too. I started thinking that this was not the opportunity to get rid of my junk (that’s what the trash bin was for) but this was my chance to get rid of good things, usable things that people need to find at a thrift store and that I don’t have space for.

And, with several locations across NWA, I knew there was opportunity that anyone in any community might find something useful. Heck, this lady even found a way to spruce up her place for spring. Imagine what kind of summer party she could throw with some new dishes!

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Donating my items was super easy. Because I had big furniture to include in my donation, I called the main office and talked to the nicest woman to schedule a pick up. The guys who came to pick up my items were great. They called before they arrived to let me know they were en-route.

Calling, Branding

When they arrived, they added my furniture and donation boxes to the other things they had collected and were quickly on their way.  It was really nice when I called to set up the pick up because I got to choose the day and it made moving day that much smoother with the list of things we had to accomplish before we could call it quits.

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Weird or not, I like to think about the tables my cobalt blue dishes will now adorn.  Or the closet hangers my work clothes, the ones I had been saving to fit into someday, will hang on and help someone walk confidently through their office.  I think about the woman who will walk in those pumps, the ones I used to prance around Rogers in making sales calls.  Will she find the community I found here?  Will she build a business in a town that loves to keep it local?  Will her life flourish in ways only Northwest Arkansas can make your heart soar?


Want more from Keisha?!
You can catch up with all her latest at…
keisha

http://www.bigpittstop.com/
@bigpittstop

***Keisha McKinney is a giver by nature. She was raised by people who loved others and learned early on the power of investing in people and giving back. These days she is enjoying her new life as a married woman, finding a place for all her “treasures” in her new house, and settling in to a new town she is learning to call home. Ever committed to the non-profit community in Northwest Arkansas, you can follow her adventures at her own blog, www.bigpittstop.com or her daily crazy on social media, @bigpittstop. She is passionate about connecting people, needs and resources.

Sunday best, Easter dress

March 17, 2016

Easter Sunday is coming up, and it’s fun to see little kiddos looking pretty and dapper in their new pastel church clothes! But for some, buying new Easter Sunday clothes may not be an affordable option. Check out these super cute outfits put together at our Fayetteville Thrift Store! Take the pressure off your purse and focus on the true meaning of the season!

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This bright, fun floral classic dress is just right for a beautiful spring day! The price tag? $2!! And why not add a fun little pair of sandals for only $1! It’s cute, comfortable, affordable and perfect for Easter morning!

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Want to give floral patterns a little break this year? This cute little plaid number from Faded Glory is only $2! It’s in great condition and is super practical! It will look great on Easter Sunday and be a great wear throughout the Spring season!

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We can’t forget the little fellas! I love this Old Navy button-up top for only $2! And why not add a little edge with some black skinny pants- also only $2! You’ll have him looking neat, clean and ready for a day of family fun!

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We also have some accessories if you need a last minute Easter basket stuffer or some extra eggs (because last year’s were never found)! Ranging from $.50 to $3, you will be sure to get see some great finds for less.

Check out our Easter Deals at any of our 4 thrift stores:
Fayetteville: 1645 S West Ave.
Springdale: 329 Holcomb St.
Rogers: 2223 W. Walnut St.
Siloam Springs: 1971 Hwy. 412 E

Spring Sprucing on a Dime

March 7, 2016

Guest Post | Laurie Marshall of Junque Rethunque
Junque Rethunque

Spring has sprung! At my local Salvation Army store in downtown Springdale, I recently found a great little selection of items to use to spruce up my house for the season. For a whopping $9.70 I filled a bag with a bamboo picnic basket, an assortment of plastic-handled knives, a roll of fabric, a Fiesta Ware butter dish, two silk floral stems, and a brand new paper flower kit.

I really thought I’d use that great fabric, but ended up putting it aside for another project. The paper flowers were also put aside, but I’ll be making them with my granddaughter next time she’s visiting. The butter dish replaced an ugly plastic one I use on my kitchen counter every day, and the rest were turned into some fun things for my home. Here are the simple projects I came up with!

salvation army finds

When I decided not to use the green fabric I pulled these pieces out instead. I actually found them at the same store, but on a different day. They are samples out of a vintage fabric book like an interior decorator would use. There are at least a dozen different pieces of various sizes, and the whole pile was $3.00. I LOVE the colors and graphics I find on vintage fabrics.

salvation army vintage fabric

My original idea was to make a hanging for the front door, but the pieces of fabric were too small, so I pulled out a few small embroidery hoops I had in my sewing room “just in case” (I have a lot of “just in case” supplies). I decided I would spruce up my window-less laundry room instead.

I might want to use these pieces of fabric later on for other projects, so I really didn’t want to cut them up. Of course, cutting them to fit would have made this step a little easier, but after some brainstorming I was able to fold the fabric in the back and tape it down with painter’s tape. Not beautiful, but effective. I used simple thumb tacks to hang them on the wall.

Fabric

Next, I took the basket and knives outside to spruce them up. Who loves warm sunny days in February? This girl! The knives, which were $.25 cents each, were pretty grimy. I wanted to turn them into plant markers, so I could have left them as-is since they’ll be used outside, but I thought a quick coat of paint would dress them up a little and give them some texture that would be easier to write on than the slick plastic. I just taped off the metal before I painted, a step you could skip since the metal part will be mostly in the dirt. I used a satin-finish paint for this project.

salvation army repurposed knives

The basket was cute enough in its natural state, but I wasn’t in love with the color. I pulled out some acrylic paint and a sponge brush and quickly covered the main areas. I wasn’t worried about brush strokes showing, since I don’t mind a “casual” paint job. Some people may call this style “shabby”. Or “sloppy” if you’re my husband. If you prefer a solid color and cleaner finish, you can simply use spray paint. Be sure to move the handles as you go to get underneath.

salvation army basket paint job

When the paint was dry on the knives, I used a permanent marker to write the names of some of my favorite herbs. If you’re more patient than I am you could use a stencil to make your letters neater. Small vinyl stick-on letters would work too.

I loved the way they turned out so I ran right out to put them in the herb bed. You can’t tell in this photo, but the white really pops out amongst the green when the sun is shining on them. Disregard the brown leaves and old stems… I haven’t cleaned out the bed for spring yet!

Garden

Finally, I got the basket set up on our entry table. We have a 4-month old puppy we are training, so a flashlight and training treats need to stay available near the front door, but they aren’t the most attractive, right? The basket makes a perfect hiding place. It could also hold a leash and plastic bags for walks, pet toys for use outside, or take-out coupons for nights you order in.

salvation army basket interior

The ivy stems were added to a small jar that I filled with golden yellow pom-pom trim I found at The Salvation Army a few weeks ago. I like the pop of color they add, along with the daffodils from the backyard. Brass deer stand guard, and a quartz cluster we dug in Mt. Ida on a family road trip a few years ago rounds out the vignette.

salvation army spring freshen entryway

Isn’t this great? For less than $10 at my local store and a few things I had around my house, I was able to dress up my home for spring. You might be surprised what you can find at your local Salvation Army Thrift Store. With just a little imagination (or fifteen minutes on Pinterest), you can use your thrifty finds to dress up your home too. Happy thrifting!


 

Want more from Laurie?!
You can find more fabulous ideas at…
Junque Rethunque
Junque Rethunque
junquerethunque.com
@junquerethunque
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***Laurie Marshall is the maker behind Junque Rethunque. You may have seen her handmade goods featuring vintage paper ephemera at The Little Craft Show or Shindig Paperie. She’s also a writer, with regular features in AY Magazine, NWA Entertainment Magazine, and online at OnlyinArk.com. She is passionate about supporting other writers and makers in her community and creating a “vintage, repurposed life”.

Opportunity

February 1, 2016

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What are the first words that come to your mind when I say “thrift store”? Do any of these make the list: discounts, charity, used, donations, college house furnishings, white elephant gift?

What if I told you that the word I think of is opportunity? That may come as a surprise to you, but to us, the thrift stores offer a world of possibility. At The Salvation Army, our thrift stores, also known as “Family Stores”, provide us with incredible opportunities in our community.

  1. They are a major source of funding for our free Alcohol and Addiction Recovery Program.
  2. They provide employment for individuals and families in need of work.
  3. They enable low-income families to own needed things like couches, tables, clothing, beds, and dishes that might not otherwise be affordable.
  4. We give out store vouchers to people in need. That means they get to shop for free!!

These are all incredible ways that we are able to serve NW Arkansas through your donations at our stores. But I don’t just want to give you the facts; I would like to tell you a story.

That story is Ivan.
He is a kind, dynamic, fun-loving, hard-working employee at our Fayetteville Thrift Store. He greets everyone with a smile and “Hello!” and makes you feel like a million bucks!! Not a day goes by without Ivan’s cheerful heart and lovable spirit brightening the day of our customers.

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But this hasn’t always been Ivan’s story.
Let him share with you how his life has been transformed from the darkness of addiction to the light of life and forgiveness through Jesus with the help of The Salvation Army.

Ivan 1

“I had just recently been out of jail. I was homeless, cause I was a bad alcoholic. And I somehow found my way over to the Springdale Thrift Store thinking it was the shelter. They referred me over here to the shelter in Fayetteville.

They made sure I sobered up so that I could start staying in the shelter, and they helped me get everything I needed to get into the [Alcohol and Addiction Recovery] Program.

I had lost everything. I didn’t have anywhere to go.
I didn’t have a penny to my name. Literally, I had spent all my money drinking. I gave away everything I owned for booze, [and soon] I was out on the streets homeless. I had been in and out of recovery programs before, but this time, they were so good to me I couldn’t leave.

I was home. And I am too old to not be having a home. For once in my life, it stuck, and I graduated from the program in October of 2013.

I was blessed and got hired by them right when I got out. It was a cashier job [at the Fayetteville Thrift Store]. I’ve been here ever since!”

Ivan 2

“Now, I have my own apartment. And I bought everything in my apartment, except for my microwave, at The Salvation Army Store. I mean, living room, bedroom, kitchen, it’s all Salvation Army stuff. I’ve spent all my money back here. And I was able to pay for it all because of my job here. My microwave would have been from here too but my old one went out on the weekend when we were closed, so I went out and bought an emergency one!

They’ve been really good to me. They are a family to me. I don’t know why or how, but I have been fortunate that way. It’s been a blessing.

I lost a lot; I was way out there. But now, I’ve gained a lot back.

My daughter is even getting ready to come visit me. But it has all been because of The Salvation Army. I give everything I have, 100% for The Salvation Army. I love it here!”

Is the word Opportunity fitting to describe our stores?
“Oh yah, for sure! We do a lot of community vouchers for the homeless. A family came in the other day with one. Their daughter pointed at something and was like, ‘Can I really get that? Can I really?’ It was a coat that she needed. And it was free for them. Sometimes I will go tell my boss, ‘That last voucher, it really hit my heart. It felt good to do that.’ And to know that I was in that boat too, but now by the grace of God, I’m not. It’s a good feeling.”

I love the thrift store! Can you tell!?
Now I get to be a part of giving back to the community!

Ivan 6

What would you say to the community about The Salvation Army?
Contribute as much as you can. Everything that comes in here goes back to the community to help the hungry and the homeless. I leave here feeling so blessed, but I mean, I was there.

Ivan 4

Now isn’t that a story worth telling and celebrating?!
We have the privilege of meeting the Ivan’s of our community everyday. Men and women who have hit hard times and simply need someone to walk alongside them and give them a hand up. Please consider donating to our stores: it is truly changing lives. You can also donate online to The Salvation Army of NW Arkansas here.

Ivan 7

Family Store Fun Facts:
• .86 cents of every dollar made in the stores goes directly towards our programs
• We have 4 stores in NWA: Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Siloam Springs
• Last week, we got in 60 year-old vintage board game classics (Clue, Life, Monopoly) valued at $100 each on Ebay!

Thrift Store Locations
1645 S. West Ave. Fayetteville
329 Holcomb St Springdale
2223 W. Walnut St. Rogers
1971 Hwy. 421 E Siloam Springs