Sa Pa, part III

This is the last one, I promise. Here are just some random pictures of the markets in Sa Pa – both the everyday one, and the one that only happens every weekend. The central market is in a two-story open building, with food and produce on the first floor, while clothes and fabric and other dry goods are upstairs. The weekend market is held in the square in front of the church.

Dried herb medicine

Also, mildly terrifying knives

What we loved the most about Sa Pa is that yes, everybody tries to sell you stuff, but they’re really nice about it, not pushy at all (most of the time.) And they always throw in a free friendship bracelet if you buy something.

These ladies loved playing doll with me and Debbi. Debbi did get the shirt, but I ended up buying another skirt – this one’s too heavy for me

Most of the clothes sold in the market are made right there

And the cloth is woven from hemp – you’d rarely see a Hmong woman without a skein of hemp around her hand

Sa Pa Church. We spent two hours inside reading and getting weird looks from other tourists

And of course, being a cat lady, I have to conclude the Sa Pa posts with a picture of cat we saw in a restaurant:

Guest Post: Feathers & Freckles

Today’s guest post is courtesy of the lovely Megan from Feathers and Freckles. She’s a thrifting queen, and as a fellow thrifter, I’m constantly in awe of the amazing items she’s able to find. Check out her collection below!

Hi, I’m Megan from Feathers & Freckles. If you know me at all, you know that I love to thrift. I will often have friends say, “I just went to Goodwill and thought of you!” I’m hoping this is because I spend a lot of time inside of them and not because I smell like used clothing.

I started thrifting at a young age, back when it wasn’t hip (is it hip now or am I kidding myself?) and I remember lying to my friends about where an item was from. I would tell them, “Oh, it’s from Gap”… and leave out the fact that it was from Gap 3 years ago and up until yesterday had a mustard stain.

Below are some items I’ve thrifted over the past year.


















OK, I’m kidding, I didn’t really buy that cat vest. (And I regret it every day).

Happy thrifting!!!

Shopping Ban and 30×30 Remix Challenge

I’ve mentioned before that my thrifting habit is becoming a problem, but it was sort of half-joking. But now I mean it. It’s becoming a problem and I need to take care of it.

You might say, But you can’t spend that much at thrift stores. Sure you can, when you add it up. And besides, it’s more about money to me. It’s about wasting time and running out of space – I don’t have room in my closet anymore, and there are pieces in there that I haven’t even worn yet!

I’m determined to nip this problem in the bud before it’s become full-blown, especially after reading about Sally of Already Pretty’s 6-month shopping ban. Because, unlike Sally, who says she has an addictive personality, I have an obsessive personality. Which is even worse, I think. You’re addicted to something, you can quit. But once you’re obsessed, that’s it. So I’m taking a stance. And I’m announcing it publicly (well, as public as this tiny blog gets, anyway) to keep myself honest. Goals:

1. No more shopping. I’m not setting a deadline because I’m afraid that once I reach that deadline I’ll just reward myself with more shopping. So I’ll start small, like 4 weeks, and see where I’ll go from there.

2. I know quitting cold turkey isn’t a good idea so, like Sally, I’m giving myself an allowance each week. But I’ll make mine $5 instead of $10 like her. Like I said, I’m running out of closet space, and with $1o you can still buy a lot.

That’s it!

Oh and I’ve made this banner to put at the end of a post to count the number of weeks I stay on the ban (sort of like AA chips, but with shopping :P)

She’s watching me…

Now, on to the second part of the post. I said there are pieces in my closet that I haven’t worn yet. And lucky for me, Kendi of Kendi Everyday just decided to start up her 30×30 challenge again, but with looser guidelines and no time limit. It’s simply taking 30 pieces of clothing and creating 30 outfits out of them. So that’s what I’m doing with my unworn pieces.

As you can see, I have 33, not 30 pieces. So I will make mine a 33×33 challenge. Because the goal is to wear all of them – at least once. The problem is, there aren’t a lot of tops (I don’t thrift tops, for some reason.) But the good thing is that the dresses/tunics can double up as tops. Also I don’t have to do this all in a row, so it won’t become a chore.

So, yeah. A shopping ban and a 30×30… oh, excuse me, 33×33 challenge. I’m embarking on a whole new journey of style exploration here, people. Wish me luck.

Weekend Round-Up: I’m A Dirty Rotten Liar

Almost typed “Weekend Update” instead of “Weekend Roundup” – I’ve been watching a lot of Saturday Night Live reruns on VH1 lately 😀 Anyway, another week’s passed, and here we are.

Lesson of the Week: After trying out my new rust-colored tights on Friday, I learned that you shouldn’t have more than 3 colors in one outfit. Everybody was saying how the tights didn’t work, but nobody – except for Melissa (thank you!) – realized that it wasn’t the tights’ fault. It was because I had three colors on my dress, boots and belt, and also because the color of my boots is different from the tights but not different enough (if they had been black boots or orange-red boots then it would’ve looked OK, know what I mean?) So, in conclusion, I have to look for a pair of black boots (in theory any black shoes will do, but when it’s warm enough to wear flats I won’t be wearing the tights anymore, so boots + tights = make sense.)

That brings me to the “dirty rotten liar” part of the post. Remember how I wrote in my Thursday post that it was my last shopping trip for a while? I lied. I stopped by Goodwill again (a different Goodwill) and got a few more things, among them are these two:

A brand new Ann Taylor Loft trench coat for $20 and a dress/tunic with kitties wearing bow-ties? I couldn’t pass them up! Anyway, I’m afraid the print on the coat might be a little too loud, too busy, but I don’t wear a lot of prints so it should be OK.

Now I only have to find a pair of black boots and then I’ll really, really be done. Cross my heart.

Blog of the Week: Academichic. This blog is run by four lovely ladies (“feminist academics” as they call themselves) and it’s filled with their helpful tips/lessons on color combination, belting, layering and pattern-mixing, among other good stuff. It’s going to be a long time before I can reach their level of chicness, but in the meantime I consider myself a diligent student.

My favorite outfits from the ladies of Academichic:

Book of the Week: “A Good Year” by Peter Mayle.

I love Peter Mayle. A Year in Provence is the first travel book I read (I admit, I used to turn up my nose at non-fiction, but thanks to Debbi’s introduction to Peter Mayle and Bill Bryson, I no longer do), and now I’ll grab anything by him I can see at the book sale. When I first picked up this book, I didn’t even know the movie by Ridley Scott was based on it, but it made sense – this book is pretty much A Year in Provence done as a novel.

So, the book is not spectacular, but it’s OK. As for the movie… I felt compelled to watch the movie, because a) I was curious, and b) it has Tom Hollander (I didn’t see him in Pirates of the Caribbean 2 or 3 or whatever, but I love him in Wives and Daughters) and also Richard Coyle in a small role. But after watching the first 30 minutes, I thought that Ridley Scott was the absolutely wrong director for this. It’s a drama/comedy/romance, and it was shot like a freaking thriller/action! Weird, constant camera moves, Russell Crowe being Russell Crowe… it just didn’t work. A waste of good sceneries and Marion Cotillard, in my opinion.

Song of the Week: “Superhuman Touch” by Athlete. (I just love the line “You pick a color and I’ll sing it for you.” Might borrow that for a post title.)

For years the only song I had of Athlete is “Wires” (which I didn’t know was written when the lead singer’s daughter was born prematurely. But when you listen to the lyric, it’s exactly that – a song about a premature baby.) But then my Pandora started playing them more and more, and I liked what I heard, so I went ahead and bought 2 of their albums. They’re like a mix between Travis and Snow Patrol (my two favorite British bands of all time – they’ll show up here one day), but with a touch more edge.

This Is The Last Time

(Named after a song by Keane.)

I went to a different Goodwill today and had a pretty good haul, so this might be my last shopping/thrifting trip for a while. Here are what I got:

Let’s see now. Colored cardigans? Check. Dresses? Check. Skirt? (with pockets, finally!) Check. More prints? Check. I think I’m good.

What do you guys think? Any suggestion as to how to pair these pieces with what I’ve already got?