Thursday, December 29, 2011

The (Un)Toy Story!


I know this is not a mommy blog but I have a bad mom confession to make any way: I hate toys, all toys! They either have millions of pieces, are ginormous, expensive, or kids are only interest in them for about five seconds {this may be an exageration, but you get the idea}. I also live in a 1000sq foot row home, which gets cluttered very easily. Add to this the fact that I tend to get stir crazy staying in one place all day,and you can see why I need to find some alternatives! So instead of buying Maya lots of stuff, I take her out of the house to encourage creative play :) We go to different local jaunts like the Philadelphia Zoo, our local branch of the Philly Library, or other kid friendly places. Sometimes we just stay home and she writes on my couch with a black gel pen, true story.{Don’t get me wrong Maya does have some toys, but I try to get her classics or very well made stuff that will stand the test of time}. 

 
"High Horse" get it? ;)
 So anyway let me get off my high horse... This week as part of her Christmas gift, Maya and I went to the Please Touch Museum for the first time ever, and Maya loved it! I think we will be treating ourselves to a membership! Last year we were diehards and braved the elements to play outside. This year mama is a wimp and we need places where we can stay warm and dry. 
   So here are some pics. And here's another confession: though I do care about conservation and conscientious consumption, I also wanted you guys to see my cutie's outfit ;)After all, this is technically a fashion blog, right?!




                                                                                                   *  Kia 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sugar Body Scrubs! Last minute gifts you can make in a hurry!



Easy to make sugar body scrubs! *Phot by my friend Anyelis
As Christmas is fast approaching, I wanted to do just a few more posts on some last minute ideas. At the beginning of November one of my girlfriends, Anyelis, hosted a sugar scrub making party.

Now, I certainly love a party, and this was a good one. Anyelis gathered some friends, created a facebook page, where we divided who would bring what ingredients and what toppings for our ice cream desert. Introductions were made, and we set to work creating yummy smelling scrubs to give as Christmas gifts. You probably don’t have time to get a party together before you light the Yule log, but you can still whip these bad boy scrubs together before the 25th! The whole process can take you way less than an hour, and you probably have allot of the ingredients already. Anyelis found a good recipe and great instructions for making and decorating at Maybe Matilda.


If you have mason jars, excellent, but if not you can recycle any nicer looking glass containers and lids which may at one time have contained, oh let’s say pickles or spaghetti sauce ;) I believe the jar I used once housed specialty goat cheese. Just wash thoroughly and remove any paper labels. Next you whip up your scrubs, for which several bloggers have their own recipes but Rachel from Maybe Matilda recommends:

- 3 cups white sugar
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. good quality oil (I used olive oil, but you can use any nice, non-smelly oil)
- 10 drops of yummy-scented essential oil per jar (I went with mandarin, peppermint, and lavender)
                                                                                                                                          Rachael-
 
Body Scrub Party! Beautiful and yummy smelling presents you can make in a flash!
At the party we went to town and created various scrubs with lots of different scents and colors. You can avoid chemicals by purchase organic food coloring from local natural food stores or Amazon, but since this the pre-Christmas time crunch if you just use any old food coloring have laying around I’m not going to tell…. Mixing is simple; just use a little bit of the coloring at a time to get a hue you like.


Mirelis, Nilda, Carolina, Anyelis, Katie, and Lina decorating their jars.
 You can also add cocoa powder for a sweet chocolate smell and rich brown color. Anyelis also suggested we add vitamin E. Next, decorate, decorate, decorate those containers! Go all out!  Have fun, and have a Merry Christmas!


                                 *Marcie




 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Homemade Couture for your Christmas Giraffe!

Mr. Gerald Giraffe looking swanky in his upcycled duds!
Back in 2010 when I found out one of my closest girlfriends, Sarah, was pregnant, I was thrilled for her and her husband Joe! They are such kind and also funny people (the two characteristics I value most ;) and I knew any baby of theirs would be equally awesome. Shortly after I heard the news I was in my favorite Fair Trade shop, Ten Thousand Villages, when I saw an adorable giraffe doll I thought would be perfect for the soon to be born baby {unfortunately, they no longer make this Giraffe, but they still have other great toys}. Sarah and Joe decided to wait until the birth to find out the sex of the baby, but I had this feeling the little one was a girl. This being the case, I purchased the giraffe in a dress. But it became apparent I chose incorrectly! Little baby boy Christian was born in January, and when it came time to give him his Christmas gift I wanted to make this Geraldine Giraffe into a Gerald, I it occurred to me this transformation would be a good submission for the DIY round up from the Ethical Fashion Bloggers!
Overalls back view

I tend to keep scraps of fabric I like from old clothes or projects I done {my sister calls it hoarding, I prefer to think of it as being prepared}. I pulled out the legs from some stretchy jeans I made into shorts last summer and the top of an old shirt of mine I had cut, and I set to work creating the adorable little ensemble you see before you! Now, for doll clothes you can buy patterns, and I certainly recommend them for complicated work. However, I’m adventurous, so I lay the giraffe over my fabric, left myself room for the seam, and cut from there. To get the crotch of the pants correctly cut (you have to curve them) I grabbed a pair of my own and looked at it as a guide for the shape.

My very old Kenmore sewing machine!

When making clothes for a stuffed animal, I recommend using stretchy fabric as these little guys tent to have more than their share of curves. For instance, Gerald Giraffe is extremely curvy about the hips, but a well-tailored pair of overalls hides that quite nicely! Sewing human sized clothes in stretchy fabric with a typical sewing machine is not ideal, as the stitches here can rip from human movement. You’ll want a serger machine for that, but for a stuffed animal whom we don’t expect to be independently mobile, using your normal sewing machine and a zigzag stitch is more than fine. To hold up Gerald’s cute little overalls I used part of a brown ribbon, which was wrapped around box of chocolates.

Look at those chubby cheaks!!!

I was very lucky to be able to visit Sarah, Joe, and Christian this past weekend, and I’m very happy to report he is very fond of his new Giraffe! Go Auntie Marcie!

Christian, a beautiful and bright baby boy!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Gift Ideas: Picture this, Sari Scarves, and Wraps that Rock!

The Gifts:
For friends and family: Framed Photos
For someone with a baby: The Sleepy Wrap
For people like people: Asha imports sari fabric accessories and home fabrics
Zoe, at MomentuM, a fairtrade shop in downtown Boulder CO

The back story: In November I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to Colorado and visit my brother Andrew, sister-in-law, Kelly, and the kids, ZoĆ«, Ashley, and baby Ginger. And, I got to hang out with my old seminary roommate, Robin, and her husband Ben, too! They all live near Boulder, which is a great city for laidback and ethical fashion.

   And this dear friends, brings us to gift idea one, framed photos of family and friends. Before I flew out to visit my family in C.O. my mom asked me to please take a family photo of the Andrew, Kelly, and the girls so she could frame it. Because of the health issues my dad had this summer, my parents haven’t been able to go out to visit the Colorado Brozyna’s and meet the new baby, Ginger. So, we duly obliged, and I’ll be printing this photo for mom and my great aunt, Vivian, for Christmas.



In this age where the vast majority of us are using digital cameras it’s so easy to take a beautiful photo only to have it perpetually remain in the digital world. There are millions of lonely desks, walls, and pianos simply crying out for some updated photos! Why should computers have all the fun? Let’s jazzy up our physical living environments with some printed paper and frames! Bring a smile to those you love and let them remember the good times ;)
 
Another one I need to print!
I’m a last minute Betty, so I have yet to get this photo printed, but I’ll be taking my USB to Ritz Camera. This is a good place to have either film or digit prints made. You can of course also take them to many drugstores for printing, but check online first to see who has them in store. Also, remember many no longer develop film. Additionally, if you haven’t waited to the absolute last minute, as I seem to have, you can digitally send your photos to Kodak online and they will main prints back to you.
Kelly, Ginger, and Ashley looking sassy
My trip to Colorado also inspired my second gift suggestion, the Sleepy Wrap. My sister-in-law, Kelly received one and she says it is simply the best baby wrap/carrier she has ever owned, and she’s on baby number three, so she’s tried quite a few over the years! Kelly was saying it is extremely comfortable and versatile, allowing you to wrap it different ways to safely suite the needs of you and your baby. Additionally, it comes in a myriad of colors, so you won’t get bored looking at it, which is important as parents wear it daily! One of Kelly’s favorite colors is orange, and here you can see her, Ginger, and Ashley looking cool and hanging out in downtown Boulder! 
Cute hats at MomentuM in Boulder

Fair Trade Recycled Sari Scarf Eco Scarves
Asha Imports Sari Scarf
We also went to Boulder’s awesome fair-trade home goods and accessories shop, MomentuM. They write, “The products in our store support fair trade, environmentally friendly production, independent artists and organic farming.” If you’re heading to Boulder, be sure to check it out. And for the rest of us, soon we’ll be order from their website. My favorite product from the store is my gift suggestion three, a recycled sari scarf/table runner.I purchased one of these beauties made by Asha Imports {Asha means “hope”}. They are  fairtrade and recycled, so what’s not to love?! You can order them from a couple websites, including the Green Heart Shop. Enjoy! 

                    *Marcie

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kick-Ass Christmas-Craft Party and Gifts!


Our gang of elves, created 10/12/11!
One of the things I love most about the Holidays is the parties! Christmas, New Years, and my birthday, which is Christmas Eve. Spur of the moment I decided to through myself an early party. You don’t need to plan for weeks and weeks, so it’s not to late to put together a holiday get together of your own! My friend Nate holds weekly screenings of VHS movies (and here’s the blog), and this month has been showing Christmas flicks. He gathers friends, gets some food, and pops in a tape, and presto -instant party! All you need is good friends, some food, and maybe something to do. We have time before Christmas, so what are you waiting for?!

Nathelie, Nikki, Mekissa, me, Miriam, Jess, and Brie
This past weekend I had a small birthday and Christmas party, affectionately named, “Marcie’s Kick-Ass Holiday Craft and Birthday Party.” Seeing as there are parties every weekend in December, I do concede it’s a tough time of year to get people to come to a  party, but you just have to invite lots of folks!  A little under half of who got invites were able to come, and I am so thankful they did! For this little gathering the wine flowed freely, the Christmas records spun constantly, and hands were busy making awesome crafts.

busy bees!
The inspiration for these awesome pinecone elves came from Martha Stewart’s 2009 December Magazine, but my mommy tells me they’ve been around since the 70’s. Kia, Maya, Mark, Steve, Jess, Nathalie, Miriam, Phil, Brie, Melissa, and Nikki make totally bitchin’ pinecone elves and pipe cleaner decorations!
Steve and his many stars!
All dressed up with no where to "snow"

The pipe cleaner stars are so simple! Just three take metallic pipe cleaners, cut in half, so you have six pieces, and twist in the middle! Add a ribbon, and poof (!) Christmas cheer! Also, they are super easy to bend and twist into the shape of other Christmas symbols! These elves are super easy, and kids just need a little help with the glue gun for the pinecones. Both of these crafts make sweet whimsical gifts for the holidays!


Marcie, Maya, Kia, and yes, this is my kitchen!

Kia and I recently joined the Ethical Fashion Bloggers, a group of fashion bloggers concerned with social, environmental, and all around sustainability in the world of looking stylish. Ceri, the organizer recently put out a call for Christmas/Holiday party outfits, so Kia and I submitted this pic.  Because the main activity of this party was making Christmas crafts, we went low key and casual for our attire.  I am proudly wearing a tunic dress I sewed last year using a Simplicity pattern, leggings from American Apparel, and knee high leg warmers I found in my grandma’s closet! My hat is from Krochet Kids International, a fair trade non-profit that employs women in Uganda and Peru so they can support their families. It was given to me as a birthday gift last year by my good friend, Malorie.
Kia and Maya making stars

Kia’s daughter, Maya, is attired in a tunic dress, much like mine as great minds do think alike, from the Salvation Army thrift shop. Her leggings and shoes are hand me-down favorites. Kia is sporting a fair trade scarf from Ten Thousand Villages, and her favorite denim jacket, which she has proudly owned for about a decade! Her long maxi skirt is from a fashionable Philadelphia second hand shop, Buffalo Exchange. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and Haoppy Holidays with however many parties you like!

Phil, Jessica, Stephen, Mark, Nikki, Melissa, and Miriam just starting to get their craft on!
*Marcie
     

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tis the Season to CHILL OUT(!) and Escape the Vortex of Materialism!

Lake George, New York as seen through my parents' window. 

   With out a doubt Christmas time is my favorite time of year. I love the snow, the lights, the cheer, the decorations, the time with family, the time for God, and the time for reflection. And I admit I have loved the presents…. preeeessssents… so many preeeessssents….. As a child the excitement of waiting for Santa and seeing what he brought me was probably the very best thing about Christmas.  Seeing as I was just a wee babe, this is understandable, but it’s also a tad pretty depressing.
    Sure, giving gifts is a sign of love, and it’s wonderful to recieive these gifts and to feel special. But why do we need to many gifts to feel good? Why such expensive gifts to feel special? When did we develop this sense of entitlement? How on earth did a gift-giving traditon, which was indended to honor the Magi presenting presents  to the poor and underprivileged baby Jesus, morph into this vortex of materialism? I mean sure, the little guy received some pretty snazzy gifts- gold, frankincense, myrrh- but you know his mommy probably had to sell them so the family could have food….
     Whether you celebrate Christmas as a religious remembrance or as a more general family holiday, I think it’s time we all reined ourselves in a little. Let’s hold our horses and take some steps out of the destructive path of insatiable consumerism. Let’s stretch ourselves through showing constraint. Let’s appreciate the little things, the acts of kindness, the acts of charity. Let’s spend less and have it mean more. Let’s resist the urge to give something, anything {like inexpensive sweatshop crap or overpriced indulgences} to absolutely everyone we know just become that’s what’s done this time of year. 
     Let’s realize it’s not a contest, but an opportunity – an opportunity to teach ourselves and our kids the virtues of giving to those who need it. It's an opportunity to demonstrate how to graciously receiving what we’re given. It’s an opportunity to direct our gifts to those who really need them and to celebrate love more while spending money less.
   This holiday season Kia and I will be posting fun low-key gifts, jolly party ideas, festive local shops, fair-trade options, and links to meaningful charities.  We hope you have fun, enjoy the process, and find ways to help others through your purchases and time. Remember, there is nothing historic, helpful, or holly jolly about going into debt for the sake of celebrating Christmas! Quite the opposite! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

To loc, or not to loc.



Image from: i552.photobucket.com/.../hairmilk/locsbarbie.jpg
 
  Every 3 months I complete a ritual of hair doing. I’ve done this since I was 15 years old. Every 3 months I braid my hair in the same exact style; waist length braids with a part done the middle. I’m not complaining about the style, I love the style it’s my trade mark.I am complaining about the process of maintaining the style. 
   I wear extensions to create my length and it takes me at least 4 hours to take my braids out. I have naturally very tightly curled hair (AKA nappy), so it takes me an hour to wash my hair. It also takes me an hour to dry it and straighten it in preparation of re-braiding it.  I then have to braid my hair, that takes 8 hours or 2 chick flicks, 4 Sex And The City episodes, and 2 hour long shows most recently Mad Men (Don Draper is so dreamy). Thankfully I only do this every 3 months or I’d shave my head bald. Now that I have a toddler it is even harder. A 2 y/o and pampering yourself for 14 hours don’t mix.
   So I have been contemplating over a year now about locking my hair. I know there is maintenance but at least I don’t have to take my hair out anymore. It is permanent but I’m fine with that, I’ve had the same hairstyle since I was 15 and I’m 33. So my only hold up is the length. I don’t have waist length hair but I love the look on me. Ah, decision, decisions. What are you doing with your hair? 
 

*Kia 

 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Warning! This Wardrobe Malfunction could happen to YOU! Yes You!


     Last week I went to visit my brother, sister  in-law, and three fabulous nieces, and I had a spectacular time! But this post isn't about that (those posts will fallow :) This post an urgent Public Service Announcement: 


When wearing lace-up boots tie laces through all "eyelets"! I repeat, tie laces around all eyelets (or hooks)! 


    Heading to Ben's from the airport I failed to do so; I wanted to be all casual and cool. Big mistake! As I merrily stepped along in my MOMA boots (usually big bucks but purchased at Platos Closet for $35 dollars ;) and pulling my suitcase behind me, I reached Ben's charming little street and quickened my pace. And then, whoooooosh! Suddenly I was flying through the air. As I was hurling through space in a state of horror my mind cried out, "why?" as my mouth cried out, "AHHHHHHH!" Moments later my face and hands were crashing into the pavement and my Sigg bottle, suitcase, and glasses were strewn every which way. As I lay there dazed and confused and still wondering "why?" I happened to glance at my feet and received my answer: a shoelace loop from the carelessly tied laces on my left boot had become snagged in the empty shoelace eyelet of the carelessly tied right shoe. 
     Let my battered and bloodied chin and hands be a lesson to you all. Looking "cool" with carelessly tied boots is DANGEROUS! Those eyelet hoots at the top are there for a reason. Learn from my folly and use them! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween Costumes: Not just what you know but who you know!

Charlotte and Ella, sailing the high seas of fashion! 
Sometimes for truly awesome Halloween costumes a mix and match of old, new, store bought, hand-me-down, and home-made is the best approach! As evidence of this, I turn to my friend, Jena, and her two little girls. This Halloween Jena went on a veritable treasure hunt to find just the right pieces so Charlotte and Ella could fly the skull and cross bones with pride. Here's Jena's map to pure Halloween gold! Many thanks to Jena and the girls! 
                         *Marcie 
Jena: 
Looking for the ocean! My sweet girls love to Reuse and Recycle, and that's why we love Halloween! There are so many ways to creatively use things you already have. The octopus is an amazing hand me down from a cousin, which I've been holding onto ever since Charlotte was a baby. And it was the perfect fit for Ella when Charlotte decided to forgo the princess route and become a tough pirate! Her pirate costume is a compilation of scraps that my Aunt and Grandmother had laying with the sewing. I also found an old jacket pattern from Easters past! With five dollars for the jacket fabric and one dollar for the hat at the dollar store, we say Jack Sparrow, eat your heart out!!!!







The State Penitentiary and Why I'm joining Amnesty International

Glad to have a pic with Ben and Jake, not too thrilled by the creepy guy lurking in the shadows...
Halloween party continued:


So here is where write that at the party, in a very a-typical  Marcie manner I did end up going to the “haunted” State Penitentiary. As I imagined, it scared the crap out of me. The only reason I managed to make it through was because Ben held my hand and had my back, and my new friend, Jake, graciously allowed me to hold the arm of his jacket so I could keep him firmly in front of me. In this manner, I managed to only have a few inches of myself exposed to the scary dressed-up masochists running around the place.
I knew I was going to be scared, but I hadn’t anticipated the experience would also make me sad, sad that all over the world people are murdered, tortured, held unfairly, imprisoned without a trial, and are may be taken advantage of because they are ill or unwell.  I'm sad this is a part of our nation's past and still a piece our present. As psychopaths jumped out darkened corners making me heart beat faster, it occurred to me, we Americans find this entertaining because for most of us it’s so out of our everyday context.
 I don’t think people living in countries with totalitarian, autocratic, or unstable governments, human beings who live in fear of soldiers or police coming in the night, or those who’ve been in American mental institutions, nursing homes, or Abu Grave, are eager to jump in jail for a fun little romp ‘round.  As I tightened my death-grip on Ben’s hand and Jake’s jacket, and witnessed a “prisoner” being “electrocuted” I vowed to make like Bono, and start donating money to Amnesty International!
Now in spite of the irregular heart palpitations, I’m glad I came along; it can be fun to be scared and I enjoyed being with friends. I just want to offer up a reminder that those of use who are blessed be free should do what we can and remember the many who are not. There are people, churches, and non -profits who work to bring justice, and they could use our support. Let’s enjoy Halloween thrills and chills and do what we can to help those who are living lives that are truly scary. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Party Time!

Robot Ben H. proud winner of the night's costume contest
The other week friends of ours, Jenn and Dominic, hosted a Halloween party, complete with costumes, tasty treats, mauled cider, and a trip to the State Penitentiary. Now, as I do love Halloween, but do not enjoy being frightened I had no plans on joining the party into the bowels of the prison. Ah, but things seldom go as planned {but more on that later…}

Jenn, the hostess with the mostest
Earlier in the week I acquired an 80’s jazzy jazz witch top at Past and Present in Mount Airy, which I coupled with black stretchy pants, a classic witch hat, and a wee little broom.  Jenn was keeping her costume a surprise. And when my boyfriend, Ben (who wore IN-Security guard jacket of his own creation ;) arrived at the fete, we discovered Jenn had created a cute and appropriately creepy baby-doll persona. 
Dominic's so scary, I want my mummy!


Her dress was a carefully chosen secondhand little number. Her boyfriend Dominic donned a homemade mummy costume, constructed out of long-johns and ripped cloth. 


Jake's Lederhosen made with love, by Grams!
I was quite fond of the costume worn by Jake,an absolutely lovely lederhosen sewn decades ago by his grandmother. Apparently it was not leather, but one of the first pleather incarnations! Hats off to Grandma because anyone who sews knows what a pain working in pleathure can be!


PCOM partygoers! 
Naturally this party had a costume contest, which brings me to the most creative costume of all, the robot by Ben H {pictured at top}. Inspired by LCD Sound System’s video for Home (video is great, but not suitable for young kids), Ben constructed this costume from cardboard, venting, duct-tape, and silver spray-paint. It was an industrial masterpiece, in which he managed to do everything, from dancing to traversing the haunted halls of the Penitentiary.  The only thing he couldn’t do was sit….
dance dance party party

 By the time I took the picture at the top the haunted halls had taken their toll, and  our robot friend showed some signs of wear and tare. But, as you can see even in this condition, R2D2 and Johnny Five would still be proud! Both at the party and in the prison Robot Ben, seen to your right -------->
busting a move, was quite the hit! 


Then this party moved our costumed behinds to the Penitentiary... {more to come...}


Mr. "In-Security" and I






                 *Marcie 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween is a time to shine for moms with BA's in ART!

Charlie as Boba Fett and Lucy as an Elmo Princess, 2011



Kristen, Charlie, and Lucy 2010
Halloween is over, but I still want to showcase some of my favorite costumes from this year {I've tucked away a few for next years entries, too}. So, you don't need an art degree to create costumes like this, but it helps! Once you take a look at the adorable costumes made by my friend Kristen, I think you'll agree! Back in College Kristen and I took a wearable art class, where the human body became the "canvas" and fabric, the "paint." 


Charlie, as Thomas the Tank Engine, 2008
When I saw the quality and variety of the costumes Kristen made for her children, Charlie and Lucy, my mind went back to our times scouring the campus for unusual materials and bursts of inspiration {of course, back then our projects were more avant garde}. Take a look at these outfits, all, save for Batman, made by Kristen. Let them help inspire you for next year! Thank you, Kristen, and enjoy!


Charlie as the family dog,  Breezer, 2007
Lucy as a cupcake, 2010


                                                                                         *Marcie











Sunday, October 30, 2011

No Toddlers in Tiaras here! A Sweet Dorothy Costume!

Photography by Caitlin Domanico, LLC

"There's no place..." you can turn without hearing or seeing discussions about how inappropriately sexy or violent children's costumes are becoming.  With the help of trusted adults children have to learn to find a safe and secure place for themselves in a society that often exploits. However, I think many of us inadvertently push children into this world, which is way more grown up than they can handle, because we think they look "cute" or "funny" posing as "sexy" or "macho" little adults. 
    That's one of the reasons I really like my friend Caitlin's "Dorothy" costume her lovely and spunky daughter, Ava. Little Ava looks sweet, adorable, and not too dolled up or grown up :) She's comfortable, classic, and herself. In being Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, Ava is embodying a young girl who had an amazing adventure; who was brave, strong, intelligent, and caring. If your interested in seeing more costumes based on extraordinary women in literature, art, history, and science, check out the website Take Back Halloween. You'll see great costumes and learn about incredible women! 

Also, you still have a few hours to enter Caitlin's Halloween costume contest!  Caitlin Domanico was recently voted Philly's best children's photographer. Check out www.caitlindomanico.com and enter this contest ASAP!!!!!!  


                            *Marcie 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Second-Hand Costumes for Kids, Lookin' Anything But Shabby!

Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and the Bee, too(!)  having fun at the "Pooh Tree" of Peace Valley Park 

As I’ve said, I’m very proud to have such a multitude of creative friends. For this post I give my thanks to one of my best high school girlfriends, Mary. She's allowed me to showcase her talent for saving the big bucks as she turns her kids into big bears {and bees, and tigers!}
       Mary is a true thrift store maven.  When her gang of little men decided they wanted to be characters from Winnie the Pooh this Halloween, she packed the kids in the car in search of great deals to make her guys fit for Hundred Acre Woods. Her oldest found an adorable Pooh costume, complete with a big ole honey belly, at the Salvation Army for a very agreeable $13. Her youngest also scored big with a bumblebee costume for $8 dollars. I like how Mary felt free to branch out from the original Pooh characters, but still found a costume that was related to the Pooh theme!
Her biggest Halloween score came from the Care and Share Thrift Shop in Souderton Pa. Now this particular thrift shop was an absolute favorite of my group of girlfriends, Mary, Bethany, Hannah, and my sister, Tegan.  With five shops in one complex, this thrift-store has tons of choices and excellent prices, and all the proceeds to help fund the very worthy projects of the Mennonite Central Committee!  For one dollar Mary’s middlest little man got himself a totally awesome tiger costume. Together, Mary's band of merry men make the cutest Pooh Bear, Tigger, and Honey Bee I’ve ever seen! 

              *Marcie 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Magic Last Minute Locals to Help You Look Freaky and Frightful for Less!!

Past and Present 7224 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19119
So with Halloween fast approaching I’m busting out all my magic to try and get all the freaky and fabulous Halloween posts up! With whatever you’ve decided to be (I’m a witch, hence my “magic” reference) here are some great stores where you can still get accessories, fabric, or full costumes for you haunted Halloween needs. 


    Up first, Past and Present...
 Jenn's lookin' good in vintage red!


To begin with, I’d like to highlight the shop Past and Present, located at 7224 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19119. Located in my part of Philly, the town of Mount Airy, I was nothing but pleased with this vintage store. In the front there is a myriad of old hats, shoes, purses, clothing, and costumes ranging from about $10 dollars to $40. There’s also traditional and inexpressive Halloween accessories, wigs, spider rings, brooms, fake teeth, etc. 
Past and Present rental room, items now for sale!
that's hot
The real glorious treasure of this store, tucked away in the back, is its rental room. This place has been in business almost thirty years, and they have costumes to prove it.  Authentic sailor suites, prairie girl dresses, Native American garb, suits, slips, scarves, sixties dresses, everything you can imagine! Once upon a time they were for rent. Now, they are actually for sale. Sadly this establishment is set to close forever shortly after Halloween, so run to Past and Present NOW for beautiful and unique costumes!!!!

    
And now on to the Jomar Stores...
No need to be blue, Jomar has the costume for you!


Another great option for accessories or for complete costumes, or if you’re doing it from scratch, for glorious fabric, are the JOMARStores. Merchandise varies store by store, and the one closest to me on Easton Rd, unfortunately doesn’t have fabric, but overall these stores are awesome! The fabric at the rest of the stores is excellently priced and unique, and the textiles are my favorite part of these establishments! There are six locations in and around Philadelphia, and you can get deals on costumes from places like K-mart that didn’t sell last year and have since landed in the Jomar racks. In their home goods section you’ll also find great Halloween and fall decorations. As far as non-costume clothing goes, if you dig you can find some chic gems on the cheap! Also, Jomar is having a monthly photo costume where you can submit pics of you in items purchased from the store and enter to win an Ipad or $200! Plus there's winners every week. I haven't entered yet, but I certainly will! 


          * Marcie