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Nothing New: May in Review

nothing-new

In May, we faced a plethora of Nothing New challenges: baby showers, smelly wardrobes, growing boys, and more!

Although not buying new has challenged us to live with less, the month of May proved that you can still enjoy the shopping experience, even when buying secondhand. And let’s be honest: the only people who don’t like to shop for clothes are men with no fashion sense and overweight women who are forced to spend the whole time finding clothes that hide their “trouble spots”. Been there!

{May} Gifts

From L to R: "used" crayons were a bit of a loophole (don't judge); Hazel isn't too sure about this whole secondhand gift thing; Cute baby outfit for just $4 at a local thrift store.

From L to R: recycled crayons were a bit of a loophole but made a great present; my niece Hazel isn’t too sure about this whole secondhand gift thing; the Janie & Jack baby outfit I found in new condition and for just $4 at a local thrift store.

    • Organic, chemical-free baby bubble bath for our friends celebrating baby’s 1st birthday. ($10 — “new”, but consumable!)
    • A quality sketchbook found at Goodwill for our friends’ little girl who loves to draw ($1). A pack of recycled crayons (ha! new but used…loophole!), in the shape of worms, for her younger brother ($10).
    • Melissa & Doug wooden tambourine (still in the package!) and a cute summer outfit for my chunky monkey niece, Hazel ($6).
    • Janie and Jack infant jeans and wool sweater for my friends welcoming their first son in snowy Switzerland. (Shhhh….don’t tell her I only paid $4 for this $90 outfit!)

{May} Clothes for Tim

Uncle Tim getting his baby fix with our niece.

Uncle Tim getting his baby fix with our niece.

This just in. We have a wet dog that likes to roll around in our fresh laundry and sabotage my domestic prowess. We’ve yet to catch the guy but judging from the smells of our clothing, he must be breaking into our garage in the middle of the night, shaking his wet smelly fur all over our laundry piles, and snickering on his way out. If not this, than I have NO idea where this god-forsaken scent is coming from. We’ve tried switching back to the highly toxic detergents. We’ve tried bleach. We’ve tried soaking. We’ve tried air drying in the sunshine.

Still, the wet dog.

I’m dumbfounded. 

But if the smell gets to me, it REALLY gets to Tim. I mean, he’s pretty easy to please but if there is one thing that will set Tim off, it’s smelling like wet dog in the middle of a work meeting! We finally said enough and decided that some of his clothes were not worth saving. In addition, he was in desperate need (in that first world kinda way…) of some summer attire.

So we spent a Saturday searching out all the consignment stores in our area, hitting up the Goodwills, and eventually found some fabulous dress shirts, shorts, pants and even designer shoes! All without compromising style or budget.

{May} Clothes for Me

secondhand clothes women

From L to R: I got all these namebrand pieces for less than $60 on thredUP.com; my Michael Kors handbag found for less than $10; me wearing my “new” flowing blue tank top (consignment shop find) and a 10k gold necklace with green pendant that I found at a local estate sale for $3!

    • It’s summer here in California (well, it’s always summer here…don’t hate me…) and it’s been a few years since I replaced any of my summer clothes. Thrift shopping for quality clothes is pretty hit and miss for women’s clothing (the good ones get snatched up quick!), but thankfully I found thredUP.com, a fantastic site for kids and women’s secondhand clothing! I ordered a pair of nearly new Joe’s jean capris and summer tops for up to 80% off retail prices. I like!
    • I also scored a BCBG summer dress for less than ten bucks and a vintage 50’s Stepford Wife linen dress at a consignment shop (that said, I either need to lose five pounds or the zipper needs to be replaced to earn me a few inches — but I just couldn’t resist!).
    • My favourite score this month was this designer Michael Kors black leather handbag that I found at Goodwill, seriously underpriced at just $7.99! I think the pricers at Goodwill are sitting in the back room using a Magic 8 Ball to determine pricing structure! They value a freebie peanut butter glass jar (still with pb inside!) for a dollar and then a high-end leather handbag for under ten?!

{May} FREE Stuff

backyard-landscape

Not buying new meant that we have been more likely to borrow tools from our neighbours rather than just going out and buying them. We also reused as much of our existing materials as possible when landscaping our backyard.

Last month we shared about buying new stock tanks to plant our extended garden. But I've also used this galvanized steel tub (foreground) which I found on the road during last year's city clean-up and this year found another, this time a wine barrel (in the back corner holding a bamboo plant).

Last month we shared about buying new stock tanks to plant our extended garden. But we’ve also used a few tubs we found during our city’s clean-up event: a galvanized steel tub (foreground) for our raspberries and half a wine barrel (in back corner) for a bamboo plant.

  • We saved at least a few hundred bucks by borrowing a wheel barrow and hedge trimming tools instead of purchasing them for what was a one-time job.
  • As you can see in the photo above, we resisted the urge to buy all new materials for our overhauled backyard landscaping and instead, re-used much of the existing materials in better ways: the brick from the previous dated and ill-placed path is now used to line a more modern pebble/step stone path; the grey stones which used to be a walkway cover (ouch!) now act as a border cover; the native grasses and cacti that were dying in our bare front yard (next on our list!) were transplanted to our new backyard beds. In all honesty, we thought we were “settling” for these less-than-desirable designs but in the end, it looks great!
  • When our neighbours-turned-friends had a garage sale, they graciously gifted us a new crossword book (that’s my sleepy-time routine!), pastel paints for the boys, a beautiful set of linen napkins, and a retro dress I gave to my big sis for Mother’s Day.
  • May is our city’s junk clean-up and last year I was thrilled to find a galvanized steel tub. So I was tickled pink when this year, I found a quality garden wine barrel on the side of the road! They cost at least $50 new.

{May} Online Finds

Tim is loving his "new" Xterra. By the way, his outfit is head-to-toe secondhand!

Tim is loving his “new” Xterra. By the way, his outfit is head-to-toe secondhand!

The world of online shopping has definitely helped us cope with buying nothing new. Between Craigslist, Ebay, and Etsy, it’s pretty easy to find quality secondhand stuff.

    • After seriously outgrowing his first two-wheeler, Jack scored a BMX bike after patiently searching Craigslist for a few weeks. We paid 1/5 of the retail price but had to spend a few bucks on getting new brakes and replacing the old handle grips.
    • Instead of buying new accessories for our new (to us!) Xterra, Tim sourced secondhand plastic floor mats and a roll-out trunk cover; saving us about $100.
    • The Xterra represents our family desire to get outdoors more than ever before as we plan camping, backpacking, and off-roading trips throughout the coming months. To keep us safe on those crazy back roads, we found a secondhand Garmin GPS for $300 less than buying new!

So you see — not buying new doesn’t mean not buying ANYTHING! But it sure feels good to know I’m not paying new prices!

Domestically Yours,
Natasha Kay

IMG_1326Natasha Drisdelle (aka Domestica) is a mom of twins, baby-weight survivor, and health & fitness 
blogger who lives in California’s Silicon Valley. She posted her before-and-after pics on the immortal 
internet as living proof that morphing into a gelatinous baby-growing-factory doesn’t have to mean your 
bikini days are over. 

You can find her on Google+, Facebook and Twitter, cutting through the myths and guilt that keep 
women from realizing true health.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Nothing New: May in Review

  1. Can you tell us which Goodwill you shopped at where you found that awesome purse? Thanks!

    Posted by Jane | June 7, 2013, 12:19 pm
    • Hi Jane. I haven’t found a difference between the Goodwills here in Silicon Valley — they are all about the same! Totally hit and miss. All items are priced at their Silicon Valley HQ before being shipped out to each store. 🙂

      Posted by Natasha (Domestica) | June 8, 2013, 9:56 am
  2. May I have that purse? Seriously, are you going to use it?

    I can’t believe that I’ve never seen your backyard before…. weird. I really do need to come for a visit.

    Also how do you find used shoes?! Here in Montreal people really wear their shoes right now. Shoes are made so crappy these days, plus people never outgrow or out-fat their shoes. I find it impossible to find used shoes. I don’t know how you do it.

    Posted by zenaritten | June 8, 2013, 6:29 am