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that’s what she wore ~ thrifted and vintage and dotted

IMG_8971This is the other outfit we photographed when I went to Texas at the beginning of this month.  As I mentioned in this previous post, I had gone along with my friend Randi Ownbey to shoot a wedding, and on our drive back to Oklahoma, Randi was kind enough to to snap some outfit pix for me in random Texas towns.  We actually took these photos in Randi’s college town: Nacodogdoches, Texas.  We had attended church there Sunday morning before heading home, and this is what I wore to church that day.  I follow several fashion blogs, and I think it’s kinda funny how a lot of the pro fashion bloggers just do a bunch of photo shoots of different outfits, as opposed to literally taking photos in an outfit they are wearing in real life.  I mean, I get that they can’t realistically do a photo shoot every single day of each outfit they wear, but when I first starting following fashion blogs, that’s pretty much what I thought they did.  I am fairly certain that I won’t ever want to be a professional fashion blogger, so what you will find on this blog will be real outfits worn by me in real life.  I like presenting my real-life stuff here.  But I also love clothes and styling and the fun of it all, which is what you will see with the thrifted outfit posts I do of other girls; such as the ones I’ve featured of ShaKari and Briana.

So let’s talk about this outfit.  I found this amazing, soft, huge coat at a thrift store in Omaha last year for around nine dollars, I think.  When I got it home, I actually thought about getting rid of it, because it really is pretty big.  But then we got some pretty cold weather here {for Oklahoma} and I dug it out.  I love how it’s big enough to fit over a sweater or blazer; and I also like the big, puffy proportions when it’s paired with something tighter/smaller on bottom, like it is here.

IMG_8983IMG_9001This bag is clearly the showstopper here {did you just sing Showstoppin’ by Danity Kane??  Because I totally did. “Show-show-stoppin’..”}, and honestly it was the basis for this whole outfit.  I found it at The Rink Gallery {my happy place}, which is not somewhere I typically buy clothes or bags.  The Rink is a vintage place, and wearable stuff {aside from jewelry – you can find some good deals there!} tends to be more expensive there as opposed to thrift stores.  {It’s more fun to shop The Rink for home decor stuff}.  But I saw this bag and loved it and paid way more than I normally would pay for a bag, and it made me really happy for a month or so, until one of the handles started falling off.. :-/  Once it was literally hanging by a thread, I admitted defeat and stopped carrying it.  You win some, you lose some.  {I’m sure I can repair it if I ever get motivated enough to do so.}  At least I got some quality photos of it, thanks to Randi.

{Sorry I found it necessary to use parenthesis so many times in that last paragraph.  And here.}IMG_9023IMG_9014IMG_9019As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t buy tights at thrift stores.  I honestly never really even see tights at thrift stores.  Don’t people just wear tights until they rip and then throw them away?  Anyway, I’ve had these tights forever, and even though they’re not an exact match for the blue in this bag, I figured the dots would give enough of a connection to make them cohesive. IMG_9085The black turtleneck and dotted skirt were both thrift store finds.  The boots were not.  I actually saw these boots at TJ Maxx and reeeeally wanted them but they were more than I typically like to spend on shoes, so I used all my self control to leave them there.  A week or so later, I was still thinking about them, so I caved and went back and bought them.  And I am so glad I did.  I have worn the heck out of these boots!  The thicker heel makes them very comfy, and the suede leather makes them nice and durable.  I think it’s so much smarter to spend a bit more on good quality leather shoes/boots that you can wear a ton without ruining, instead of buying lots of cheap shoes that won’t survive as long.  This mindset is the total opposite of what I used to have, which was generally that I want all the cute {cheap} shoes, all the time.  But, you live and learn, and I’ve paired way back on shoe purchases.IMG_9095IMG_9102I wanted to mention something before I wrap up this post….After I posted my last outfit post on here, I actually had a couple of friends text me to tell me that I’d inspired them to be a little more adventurous/creative/whatever with their clothes that week.  I love that!  It’s exactly why I do posts like this.  I like inspiring people to find new life in old clothes, whether they’re someone else’s old clothes {that you thrifted} or your own old clothes in the back of your closet or the bottom of your drawer.  Plus, I think there’s enough heavy stuff in this world, and I like thinking maybe something as simple as cute, fun outfits could bring a smile to your face or distract you from the less pleasant stuff for a few minutes.  I know the heavy stuff shouldn’t be ignored, but I think it can be balanced out with lighter fare occasionally.  Plus, you know what they say: looking good is half the battle. :)


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photo shoot ~ jen and emma being cool and gorgeous, as usual

gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 02If I were a really great blogger, I’d have dug up a photo of Jen and I when we were around five to seven years old {I have a stellar memory, obvs} wearing matching sweathshirts-cut-into-little-jackets-with-kitten-images-ironed-on-for-real.  We had another best friend, also conveniently named Jen, and she had a matching sweatshirt jacket thing, also.  One of our moms made them for us.  I’m mostly certain it wasn’t my mom, since she stuck to making matching clothes for me and my sisters, haha.  But anyway, if I were a great blogger, I would’ve found one of those pix and I would’ve posted this yesterday along with a clever #ThrowBackThursday reference.  But I didn’t dig up any of those pix, I started but didn’t finish this post yesterday, and I am generally just not a very great blogger.  Yet. ;)  But now I have convinced myself to find one of those cat-bedecked-sweatshirt-jacket pix to post next week. gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 01So, if you’re unfamiliar with my life or my blog, this is my BFF Jen and her daughter Emma.  As I was readying these photos to post, I was thinking about my wonderful friendship with Jen.  And I decided that, aside from, you know, the lifelong putting up with each other and laughing until we cry pretty much every time we are together and crying with and for each other through the awful things life has occasionally thrown our way and also celebrating the good stuff – aside from all of that, I think the coolest thing about our friendship is our mutual love and appreciation of fashion.  Jen and I are fashion soul sisters.  Not fashion twins.  We each have our own distinct styles, but we share this insatiable appetite for fashion.  And we have been known to {often} lose track of time while thrifting our little hearts out together.  :)  {In fact, this gorgeous green vintage dress is one I found for Jen while thrifting.}  It’s so cool to have a best friend who shares your fashion passion.  {hahaha!  Sorry.  That was probably the cheesiest sentence I’ve ever written on this blog.  Well, actually it probably wasn’t.  But I couldn’t help it.}gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 03gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 04gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 05Since Jen gets and shares my fashion fascination, our photo shoots always lean a little more toward editorial than just pretty mom and daughter pix – although I do try to get those for them, too!  {Check out their session from 2013 to see what I mean.}gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 06Oh, I just want to kiss Emma’s perfectly freckled cheeks whenever I look at this pic!  Jen, get on that for me, will you? :) gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 07gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 08gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 09gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 10gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 11I love, love this photo!  All the bright colors and cool vibes make my heart happy.gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 12gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 13gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 14Dang, my best friend is gorgeous!gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 15The bond between Jen and Emma is really beautiful to witness, and I love capturing it in photos.  I’m so proud of Jen for being such a wonderful mother and so happy for Emma that she has such a grounding, encouraging, inspiring force in her mom.  They melt my heart.gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 16Doesn’t hurt that they also know how to work the camera like straight up supermodels! :) gorgeous and cool mother daughter photos 17Jen & Emma~

You two are the best!  Can’t imagine my life without you two in it.  I love you so very much!


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thrift thriving ~ styling a bright statement coat

textured thrifted layered outfit 08Time for another thrifted outfit, styled by me and modeled by the lovely ShaKari.  Scroll down to the end to read more about how I styled this look, or just ignore my blabbering and look at these pretty pix and go put yourself a fun outfit together! :)textured thrifted layered outfit 02textured thrifted layered outfit 03textured thrifted layered outfit 04textured thrifted layered outfit 05textured thrifted layered outfit 06textured thrifted layered outfit 01textured thrifted layered outfit 07textured thrifted layered outfit 09textured thrifted layered outfit 10textured thrifted layered outfit 11This coat is sort of an olive green, although it definitely reads more yellowish in these photos.  I found it at the thrift store forever long ago, just like everything else you see in these photos – except for ShaKari.  She did not come from the thrift store.  But the rest did.  Including that amazing scarf.  So pretty.  Anyway.  I think this coat is so perfect for a mild winter day or a chilly spring day.  The great thing is, this color plays nicely with just about any earthy or citrus-y shade.  I love it with the green tones in the shirt { Michael Kors top I thrifted, holla!}, the stone color of the skirt, and the juicy tones of the scarf – but, I think it would look equally cool with a bright raspberry or deep eggplant color.  In fact, we did add in some purple tones by way of ShaKari’s eye makeup.  I just love how it all came together.  Hope this inspires you to throw together some bright, gorgeous colors this winter.


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ShaKariJanuary 19, 2015 - 11:34 pm

How do you know I didn’t come from a thirft store?

Abi RuthJanuary 20, 2015 - 2:08 am

good point, i have no idea where you came from, girl.. ;)

photo shoot ~ jerayle and lauren’s stylish engagement portraits

stylish engagement photos with perfect outfits01This is my good friend JeRayle and his gorgeous fiancee Lauren.  We shot their beautiful, timeless engagement portraits a few months ago in Dallas, TX.  Seriously, this couple is too pretty!stylish engagement photos with perfect outfits02stylish engagement photos with perfect outfits03stylish engagement photos with perfect outfits04stylish engagement photos with perfect outfits05stylish engagement photos with perfect outfits06Of course their baby boy is too cute for words.  He and I became great friends during the session!  I’ve honestly never before had a two year old cooperate so well for a shoot.  He was perfect!stylish engagement photos with perfect outfits07Lauren gets the credit for the sweet chalkboard signs we used. stylish engagement photos with perfect outfits08stylish engagement photos with perfect outfits09stylish engagement photos with perfect outfits10stylish engagement photos with perfect outfits11stylish engagement photos with perfect outfits12Oh, and fashionistas, take note: normally, I’d discourage a matching, monochromatic color scheme like this for portrait sessions, but this couple did everything right here!  They chose outfits that, in spite of lacking color, boasted interesting details and great textures.  I adored the styling, and I think these are such classic but still very cool outfits.  Good job, Lauren and JeRayle!  Of course, I expected no less from such a stylish couple. :)


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true life stories & that’s what she wore ~ a cozy cream & navy outfit + discussing the luxury of time

cream and navy thrfited outfit 1When I was growing up, my family went on a lot of road trips {mostly just to see our family in Iowa} and we never owned nice cars.  That combination led to us being stuck on the side of the road or at a gas station many times with car trouble.  My dad is an amazing person who can fix just about anything, cars included, so really it was just a matter of us waiting around while he worked to repair whatever was wrong.  Since this was in the days before smart phones and tablets, or even laptops and portable dvd players, I remember assisting him on several occasions when I was staving off boredom after probably finishing whatever book I was reading.

In general, I have the worst memory of just about anyone in the world, but I clearly remember one such broke-down-car incident when we were stuck at a truck stop and my dad had worked for hours replacing some part on the car, only to get the new part in and have the car still not start.  He eventually got the vehicle running again, and it turned out to be a cheaper, easier fix than what he had spent time and money working on originally.  When the car was finally running again, I remember asking my dad if he was going to take out the part he had tried at first and return it in order to get his money back.  He responded that no, he was not going to do that, we would just go on our way home with the new part we hadn’t really needed.  This surprised me, because we were pretty poor then, and I couldn’t believe my dad wasn’t going to get his money back when he could have.  I must have shown my surprise, because he looked at me and said, “Abi, sometimes time is worth more than money.”  He knew it would have taken him hours to take the part back out and put the old one back in, and it just wasn’t worth it to him.  I swear I will never, ever forget that lesson.  At the time, it baffled me, because money was such a scarcity in my life.  But over the years, I have remembered my dad’s statement many times.  And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to understand what a luxury time truly is.
cream and navy thrfited outfit 2These photos brought that story to mind for a couple reasons, really.  The first one is because everything here is thrifted {other than the amazingly warm and chic cowl scarf, which was made by Heather} and everyone is always saying to me that they don’t understand how I find such great stuff at thrift stores.  I always tell them it’s because I go often and take the time to look carefully.  You will rarely find anything great by just skimming the aisles at Goodwill.  I invest a lot of time into thrifting in order to save money….And because I enjoy it and feel like it’s more ethical than investing in fast fashion from the mall or many online shops which likely get their clothes from places that don’t pay or treat their workers well.  But that’s a whole different post and I’m veering off subject here.cream and navy thrfited outfit 3The second reason the luxury of time came to mind for this post is because these photos were taken on a recent roadtrip with my friend Randi.  We had traveled to Texas together for her to shoot a wedding.  I went along to assist her and just for fun, really.  On the way home, we were able to take our time and drive through some small Texas towns looking for antique stores for Randi to browse and stopping to take these photos as well.  As you can see, Randi is a wonderful photographer, and I so enjoyed having her do some outfit pix for me!  Our trip was laid back and fun and refreshing.  It was a wonderful way to start off this year! :)  It seems like most of my roadtrips in the past few years haven’t contained the luxury of extra time to stop and do whatever.  This trip inspired me to be more intentional about my travel time in order to really get to experience and enjoy the places I might normally just pass through. cream and navy thrfited outfit 4So, shout out to the town of Sacul, TX {population 150 – really! – according to their water tower}, for providing a sweet backdrop with this random old building along the highway.  My favorite thing was the faded blue-gray wood, but the creamy lace curtains were a nice touch also.  Nevermind that some of the windows were barred on the inside.  It’s whatev.cream and navy thrfited outfit 5cream and navy thrfited outfit 6cream and navy thrfited outfit 7cream and navy thrfited outfit 8The rest of these photos were taken in Jacksonville, TX, where for some reason there were tomato statues everywhere.  Like, everywhere!  I’m sad we didn’t get a photo of one.  Maybe next time.  We did get photos by this amazing complimentary-colored background, though.  Thanks to my photography school training, I will always be hyper aware and appreciative of complimentary colors! :)cream navy thrifted outfitNow can we talk about the clothes for a little bit?? You know that’s what I really love to talk about, right?

Okay, so I found this cream slouchy sweater at a thrift store awhile back, and it still had the tag from H&M on it.  {I love finding never-worn items at the thrift store!} I’ve worn the heck out of this since getting it this past fall.  Like I mentioned, it is from H&M, so it’s kinda cheaply made and I have to wash and dry it after every single wear because by the time I take it off it’s dripping off of me.  Do you own any clothes like that??  Like, when you put them on, they fit great; but after a few hours of moving around in them, they’re falling off you?  Anyway, this is annoying like that, but it does hit at the perfect length to be appropriate for wearing with leggings, and it’s roomy enough to be comfy for travel – or a fat day. ;)

These pants are a Target brand, I believe.  I actually thrifted them while we on our trip in Texas.  I had been wanting some thick navy leggings and/or some dark skinny jeans.  These aren’t leggings, since they have a front zipper/fly and all, and they’re not denim, but they fit the bill of being slim-fitting navy bottoms, so I snatched them up.

I also picked up these darling shoes at a thrift store on our trip.  I’m kind of obsessed with them.  And cute navy shoes are harder to find than you’d think – at least, that’s been my experience, so I’m happy to have these now.  Also, these definitely looked as if they’d never been worn before – nice!

I’ve been into the idea of more muted {or even monochromatic} outfit tones this winter, and I’ve also been loving icy blue touches, so this unique thrifted bag was the perfect accessory for this look. cream and navy thrfited outfit 9cream and navy thrfited outfit 10Big thanks to Randi Ownbey for all the photos in this post!!  We shot one other outfit on our trip, and I’ll be sharing it soon as well.


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CherylJanuary 14, 2015 - 1:45 am

I enjoyed reading this! Things like going to thrift stores-hunting the bargains, gardening, and sewing, knitting, crocheting -and fixing cars and such, are maybe never cost effective but you have to look at the worth at the end! I was thinking of what you said about your recent road trip and how you got to explore! Sometimes you have to make time, take time to enjoy the life of this great country!

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