Thrift Store Finds: Feb 2016 Edition

February was another great month for thrifting! I headed to Second Time Around in Wellesley to look for an outfit to wear to my Valentine’s Day dinner and I found this gorgeous St. John pink leather jacket and brand new Balenciaga clutch!

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Later in the month, I saw another David Yurman piece posted on Instagram at Covet. I scored this great Albion necklace, and stopped by The Maiden to check it out while I was in the neighborhood!

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Retail: $3,429

Thrift Store Price: $741

Total Savings: $2,688

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Esmeralda Lambert Jewelry

Last weekend I had the opportunity to check out Esmeralda Lambert’s jewelry shop in Harvard Square. A great store that features her own designs and the designs of other independent and artisan makers.

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In addition to having a great eye for design and fashion, Esmeralda also has a strong sense of social responsibility. Every piece in the shop has a story and Esmeralda can tell you the stories behind each and every piece and designer featured in her shop. Like some of these pieces below, whose designer creates each item with a specific charity in mind and gives proceeds from each sale to that charity.

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I saw a ton of great pieces including these gorgeous clutches and statement necklaces:

but my favorite part of the experience was hearing Esmeralda’s story.

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This adorable couple is Esmeralda with her husband and co-founder. They met in business school, and manage the business together. Esmeralda originally began as a designer, working with jewelry makers from her home country The Dominican Republic. It was important for Esmeralda to bring a piece of her culture with her to the US, and provide women an opportunity to earn a decent wage (particularly stay at home moms who wouldn’t otherwise be able to work).

Just a few months ago, Esmeralda took the leap from selling her pieces in other stores to opening her own shop in Harvard Square (although her pieces are still available in other boutiques. I highly recommend checking it out for yourself, especially with Valentine’s Day right around the corner!

 

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Thrift Store Finds: Jan 2016 Edition

I mentioned earlier that the fiance and I are buying a new construction place in Southie. We were supposed to move in this month, but construction was delayed (as I keep hearing is typical) and we had to find a short term rental very last minute. We weren’t able to find anything in town, so we’ll be in Natick for a couple of months. I’m not thrilled about this, but I’m trying to make the best of by spending more time with all of our friends in the burbs and checking out new restaurants and shops out here. So far I’m most excited about Second Time Around in Wellesley, which is by far the nicest location I’ve been to.

I can’t believe how many great pieces I’ve found this month; they regularly have new and like new condition Chanel, Hermes, and more. I’ll definitely be making the treck out here even when we move back in town!

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Retail: $9,000

Thrift Store Price: $2,500

Total Savings: $6,500

 

 

 

 

 

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Thrift Store Finds: Dec 2015 Edition

I’m going to let you in on a secret. I love thrift shops. It all started when I moved to back bay, and part of my routine on Saturdays was a loop around Newbury street where I’d check out all three locations of Second Time Around, The Closet, and both Rescue locations (now closed). Each store had a different feel, and I loved finding designer pieces (sometimes brand new) at a fraction of the cost.

Since moving to Southie I’ve discovered even more great spots like Covet and Dew Luxe, which I don’t even have to stop by in person because they put their best pieces on Instagram! This month I scored this David Yurman cable bracelet from Covet. I’ve been wanting one of these for a long time, and was so excited to find it at such a great price!

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Retail: $775

Thrift Store Price: $375

Total Savings: $400

 

 

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Wish List

My fiance jokingly calls this list my bucket list – some people have a list of things they want to do before they die and I have a list of high end designer accessories I want to own.

It all started with the Birkin, the holy grail of designer handbags and a must for every collector. I really hope to add this to my collection within a year, and then work my way through the list!

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  1. Hermes black Birkin, preferably one of the smaller sizes
  2. Hermes Constance handbag
  3. Hermes Kelly handbag
  4. Fur Coat (update purchased Jan 2016)
  5. Cartier Love Bracelet (white gold, with diamonds)
  6. David Yurman Albion ring (with amethyst or onyx and diamonds)
  7. Diamond studded Rolex
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I’m Moving!

The new place is a mile up the street, just outside Andrew Square and I can’t wait! We’re buying a new construction condo with two beds, two bathrooms, his and her walk in closets, garage parking, double sinks, jetted tub, gorgeous marble tiling… did I say two walk in closets??

We’re expecting to move in sometime later this year, but here are a few pics of the construction:

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Can you see how excited I am in my covert bathroom mirror selfie??

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How to Save 25-30% at Sephora

Confession: I’m addicted to makeup and Sephora is my favorite place to buy it. Here’s how I shop strategically and save at least 25% every time!

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Become a VIB or Find a Friend who’s one

Sephora’s VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) program has tons of perks including a free makeover, free birthday gift, product rewards, and most importantly – access to private sales. These private sales generally happen 1-2 times per year and discounts range from 5%-20% off. For as long as I can remember, Sephora has had a 20% off sale in November which will be here before you know it!

If you aren’t a VIB already, you’ll need to do two things to become one:

  1. Enroll in Sephora’s free rewards program, Beauty Insider.
  2. Spend $350 in a calendar year to earn VIB status for a full year. I typically stock up on my favorite products during the November sale and throw in a few Christmas gifts while I’m at it. I have no trouble spending $350 and earning VIB status. If you want to take advantage of the sale but haven’t yet qualified, find a friend who’s a VIB for that first year. Many times when I receive notification of the sale, I’m also given a coupon or code to share with a friend!

Use Ebates or another shopping portal

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

 

 

Ebates is currently offering 4% cash back at Sephora. and if it’s your first time shopping with them you’ll earn a $10 sign on bonus! This brings your savings to 24% before all of the bonuses and free gifts!

Pay with a credit card that offers cash back or rewards

I use the American Express Blue Cash Preferred, which offers great cashback rewards ranging from 1%- 6% (this card has an annual fee, but there is a free version with slightly lower rewards). If you sign up for either card now, they’re offering an additional $150 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first three months!

Depending on which card you use and if you’re able to take advantage of any special offers, you’ll have saved a total of 25% – 34% off at this point.

Finally, Redeem all of those Beauty Insider Bonus Points

Remember those samples I mentioned that can be redeemed for 100-500 points? During the holidays, Sephora tends to offer really nice gift sets for 500 points. Think Urban Decay Eyeshadow pallettes, Clinique skincare sets, Makeup Forever makeup sets and more. offers lots of free bonus gifts or gift sets you can redeem with points. I usually save up my points all year, use them for the 500 point sets and give them as Christmas gifts.

While Sephora may not ever be as cheap as the drug store brands, it is possible to buy nice makeup at a more affordable price. 26%-36% off plus free holiday gifts definitely makes it possible for to buy in bulk for the year without a big hit to my budget!

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