Year in Review + Happy Holidays

Hey friends! There’s only a few days left until Christmas. Are you excited? I know I am. I can’t wait to spend time with my family and of course, eat some good food! ;-) Before I go off and enjoy some holiday festivities, I wanted to pop in and do a brief year in review of the blog.

2015 was a great year for WNJ! The blog has grown so much, thanks to your readership and support. I’ve been able to step outside my comfort zone by hosting a few events and collaborating with like minded bloggers. I’ve also been blessed to contribute my writing to some amazing websites/blogs and cover some pretty amazing events in the DMV area. I’m very grateful to have been able to do all of that in such a short amount of time.

Year in Review

Oprah’s Life You Want DC Tour // Blog Ambassador for Blogger Week // 2014 Greater Washington Goodwill Fashion Show

As I look forward to 2015 I see nothing but continued growth much success. Thank you all for the comments, emails, and messages this year. You’ve helped make this blog what it is – a place where women can learn to live a stylish, budget friendly, and inspiring lifestyle.

Again, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I wish you all joyous holiday and a blessed New Year. Until 2015, be blessed and stay safe…xo!


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The Best of 2014 Personal Style Edition | What I’ve Learned About Personal Style

Happy Monday, everyone! This weekend was such a great one. Not only was I able to spend some QT with hubby, but we also got a lot of things done around the house. It’s that time of the year when I start cleaning out closets, drawers and everything in between. So, we did a little bit of that on Saturday and Sunday. By next weekend, we should be done….I hope. ;-)

Today’s post is a recap of my favorite outfits from my Personal Style Monday posts. I started this linkup as a way to express my personal style and of course, I wanted to give you all a chance to do the same. I started out by having just 8 or so links for months and now I have 30+ linkups almost each week. I LOVE it and I thank you all for linking up and sharing my links each week. Check out some of my favorite Personal Style Moments of 2014, as well as some things I’ve learned about my personal style along the way.

Clearly I embraced my curves, wore a lot of dresses, and had no problem showing a little bit of skin earlier this year. I enjoyed experimenting with different looks, hairstyles and trends; all while staying true my personal style. I feel like my style has grown, yet has remained simple with a touch of uniqueness that only I can bring. I’ve “found myself” as far as personal style goes, and I’ve pushed my limits when it comes to what I will and won’t wear. Daring to bare my legs in certain outfits, like the black Jessica Simpson dress (above), was liberating and wearing shoes other than flats and sandals was huge for me.

I enjoyed wearing a bit more color this year and I wasn’t afraid to go bold with my outfits. I also learned the importance of knowing your body type. I know what looks good on me and what works for my body; 2 very important things to know when figuring out where to go with your personal style. Something else that’s important to learn while curating your personal style? Trying different things with makeup. For me this was tedious task, but I must admit that it was fun. Weather it was a lip color or a bit of mascara, I took myself to another level in terms of my day to day beauty routine. From makeup to skin care, I’ve re-learned the importance of taking care of my skin as well.

One of my favorite personal style posts this year involved statement jewelry. It was fun sharing my favorite pieces with you! Wearing statement pieces this year saved a lot of my outfits form being boring and blah. It was rather enjoyable styling different pieces and my collection has grown a lot since I published that post. I’d planned to do a separate post on how to shop for statement pieces on eBay, but I didn’t get around to it. No worries; it’s on the top of my to-blog-about list for the new year.

Of course I’ve stayed true to my love for thrifting. Showcasing different outfits with several of my thrifted purchases has been a personal style highlight. I’ve been able to influence others to try thrifting, as well as teach people how to successfully thrift for certain items. Thrifting is a huge part of my personal style and it will continue to be…forever. From thrifted accessories to sweater coats, I’ve had fun showing how to stay on trend without breaking the bank.

 So tell me, what did you learn about your personal style this year? Are there any your favorite personal style look from 2014 above? Let me know!  

Since this is the last of my Personal Style posts of 2014, I’ve decided to leave today’s linkup open until the last day of the month. Feel free to post as many looks as you’d like from now until then. Thank you all SO much for linking up with me and I look forward to seeing your outfits in the new year. Until tomorrow, be blessed and stay safe…XO!


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Linkups: How I Fall, Style to Inspire, Sophisticated Style, Visible Monday, Let it Shine, Manic Monday

Thrifty Thursday | Holiday Thrifting

Happy Thrifty Thursday, friends! Today’s post is all about holiday thrifting! I’m always excited  when it comes to thrifting, but I especially enjoy holiday thrifting. Not only can you thrift some amazing gifts, but you can also decorate your house with some thrifted holiday finds. The holidays are also a good time to go thrifting for yourself. A lot of people donate their items this time of year and you can score some pretty amazing deals!

Holiday Thrifting

It may take a while to convince you that holiday thrifting is the thing to do, so here’s a video for you. I had the pleasure of chatting with my Thrift Sisters (Ayana, Keren & Wendy) about holiday thrifting the other night. We all shared our thoughts on the topics mentioned above, as well as showed off our recent thrift finds. While some of the thrift sisters didn’t agree with me on thrifting Christmas gifts, lol, we all agreed that this time of year is a thrift shoppers dream! Take a look at the holiday thrifting video for more!

So tell me, are you into holiday thrifting? Would you thrift a gift for someone? Let me know! 

If you want some more tips on what kind of Christmas gifts to thrift, check out my recent post on The Curvy Fashionista. You can also shoot me an email if you have any questions about holiday thrifting, or just thrifting in general. I’d love to help you make the most out of your thrifting trip(s)! Until tomorrow, be blessed and stay safe!

P.S Don’t forget to linkup your recent OOTD to my Personal Style Link Up, HERE


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Personal Style Monday | Sweater Coat & Silver Heels

There’s nothing like wearing a big cozy sweater coat during the fall and winter!  I’m not one for trends, but this one I can work with. Before this trend was popular I already owned at least 3 sweater coats. Does that mean I was ahead of the trend? Mmmm…not sure. Nonetheless, this blue southwestern inspired sweater coat is yet another one of my favorite fall/winter wardrobe items.

Cozy Sweaters - Plus Size OOTD

Sweater Coat: Thrifted // Sunnies: Ivanka Trump, Nordstrom Rack // Denim: Roz & Ali, Dress Barn (Other Options)

Plus Size Sweater Coat

This is one of those outfits where I feel like I’m really owning it. I always feel confident in my clothes, but this look is just so “me”. Owning your outfit and exuding confidence is key to achieving personal style. If you’re not comfortable with a certain trend or clothing item, don’t wear it. It’s that simple. As I always say, do and wear what makes you happy. It may sound cliche, but I wholeheartedly believe in that statement.

Plus Size OOTD - Sweater Coat

Metallic Heels: Kenneth Cole, DSW (Similar) // Purple Sweater: Thrifted // Clutch: Thrifted // Necklace: Thrifted

Thrifted Fall OOTD

Another thing I’ve mentioned here on WNJ is to pick and choose the trends that work for you. The metallic heel trend is one I wanted to try, so I modified the trend to fit my personal style.  I purchased a pair of  lower (kitten) heels and voilà - I made the trend work for me! Same thing with the sweater coat trend. There are several more expensive options I could have gone with, but I decided to thrift this trend. Not only  was I able to save money, but I also found a sweater coat that was unique in design.

Sweater Coat OOTD - Plus Size

When it comes to owning your outfit and personal style, Lauren from Sophisticated in Style does just that. A regular blogger to linkup on Monday’s, I always enjoy seeing which OOTD she’s linked up each week. Her embroidered top and ASOS skirt from last week did it for me. I love it! This semi-vintage inspired look has the perfect twist of sophistication and elegance. Lovely, Lauren!

 So tell me, are you into the sweater coat or metallic heels trend? What do you think about my take on the trends? Let me know! 

Don’t forget to show off your personal style by linking your recent OOTD pots(s) below. Just be sure to link your outfit back to this post. Also, visit the other bloggers who’ve linked up and say hey. Until tomorrow, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

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Linkups: Thrift Sisters, Thrift AnynomousHow I Fall, I Would So Rock That, Mix it Mondays, Let it Shine, Style Me Wednesday, Manic Monday, Style to Inspire, Sophisticated Style, Style Sessions, Trend Spin, Thursday Favorites, LYLS, WIW, GYPO, Three-fer Thursday, Fall Style Linkup, Style ConfessionsLook What I Got, Spotlight Weekly


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Thrifty Thursday | Thrift Sisters Google+ Hangout

Happy Thrifty Thursday! I’m super excited to announce a new thrift series coming to a computer near you! Next Wednesday at 8 p.m., the Thrift Sisters Series begins on Google+ and I am thrilled to be apart of this venture. Ayana of Thrifting Diva, Keren of Two Stylish Kays, Wendy of JustJewles4U and I will be chatting about all things thrift, vintage, and style! Most importantly, we’ll be answering your questions about thrifting!

Thrifty Thursday - Thrift Sisters Chat

If you’ve ever wanted to know how to get started with thrifting, how to conquer a larger thrift store, or have questions about what items to thrift and not thrift, we’ve got the answers for you! Just send your questions to To RSVP for this event, you can do so  here

So tell me, will YOU be joining us for next Wednesday’s Thrift Sisters Series? Let me know!

This event is about you, so don’t forget to RSVP and send in your thrift questions to Until next time, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

P.S. Don’t forget to link your recent OOTD to my Personal Style Linkup HERE


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Thrifty Friend Feature #16 – Anna of Melodic, Thrifty & Chic

Melodic, Thrifty, Chic…perfect words to describe today’s Thrifty Friend feature. I remember stumbling across Anna’s blog months ago. I was so taken with her unique and eclectic sense of style, and the fact that she was an avid thrifter served as a huge bonus! Melodic, Thrifty & Chic is actually the name of her blog and she is indeed all that, and MORE. Oh…one more thing before you scroll down to read! Anna attended university in Nishinomiya, Japan and is proficient in Japanese. Pretty cool, right?! OK, now you can scroll down and read more to find out her thoughts on thrifting – enjoy! :-)

thrifted fashion - feature

Name, Location & Blog?

Anna Martin from the Midwest and my blog is Melodic, Thrifty & Chic.

How long have you been a thrifter? 

My mom really inspired me, as she would often take me shopping with her when I was younger. She always went straight for the sale racks and she would have a ton of clothes in her cart by the time we’d get to the check-out counter. I always expected the final total to be in the triple digits given how much stuff she had, but it never reached that level. My mom could do a lot for us with very little and I really respected that.

Thrifty Thursday - Melodic Thrifty Chic ft.

How often do you thrift and what are a few of your favorite thrift spots? 

I’m on a year-long spending freeze, so the only new clothing I receive is from my clothing swap group (for the cost of shipping). However, prior to this, I would thrift as often as I could. If I had the money to spend, I’d spend it (albeit as wisely as possible!) I have quite a few vintage shops that I love, but unfortunately there aren’t any thrift shops that I frequent in my area. If we had a Buffalo Exchange, I would certainly go there!

What would you say to someone who wants to try thrifting but has no clue where to start?

Oh dear. Well, I would tell this person to wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to do a lot of sifting. Thrift stores vary in terms of how organized (and clean) they are. So, you’ll have to make a choice as far as where you’d like to shop. I’ve been to thrift stores where clothing is just piled on the floor in some parts of the store. It’s off-putting, but I’ve also found things I love from picking through those piles. Of course, it goes without saying that you should thoroughly wash everything you’ve bought before wearing it! I’ve been to really well maintained thrift stores, too! In that regard, some of the best ones have fitting rooms! Not all, though, so you should also be prepared to figure out what will fit you without being able to try anything on. I suggest bringing a roll of measuring tape and being very familiar with your flat bust/waist/hip measurements. All of this can be really overwhelming and there’s no guarantee that you’ll find anything spectacular when you go, but eventually you will and it will be so worth it! I speak from experience!

Thrifty Thursday - Melodic Thrifty Chic

What are your top 3 thrift finds?

I would have to say (1) a red/white checkered vintage top that I scored while on a trip to Austin last year, (2) a beautiful 60′s plaid shift dress from a local vintage shop, and (3) a floral corduroy vest, also vintage.What are 3 things on your spring must-thrift wish list?I’m dying for something in daisy print. I finally broke down and started adding more florals to my wardrobe, last year. I have seemingly every manner of floral print, except daisy! I’d love to get a chunky, grandpa cardigan in a deep forest green and rich brown. I probably already have way too many cardigan, but I don’t care. Haha. A pair of patent loafers would be rad, too! I have really big feet (like 10.5/11) so I’d probably end up having to shop in the men’s section at a thrift shop to get those shoes.

What are 3 things on your must-thrift wish list? 

I’m dying for something in daisy print. I finally broke down and started adding more florals to my wardrobe, last year. I have seemingly every manner of floral print, except daisy! I’d love to get a chunky, grandpa cardigan in a deep forest green and rich brown. I probably already have way too many cardigan, but I don’t care. Haha. A pair of patent loafers would be rad, too! I have really big feet (like 10.5/11) so I’d probably end up having to shop in the men’s section at a thrift shop to get those shoes.

Thrifted Fashion - Melodic Thrifty Chic

Are there certain items you will not thrift? 

I’ll thrift just about anything, really. I’d draw the line at intimate clothing, swimsuits, socks. It just depends on whether they are in their original, sealed packaging.

Describe your style in 3 words.

Eclectic, theatrical, unpredictable.

Melodic Thrifty Chic - Thrifted Fashion

Who are some of your style inspirations?

Generally speaking, I draw a lot of inspiration from bloggers who have a command of color and patterns. The more unique and unexpected the color/pattern combinations, the more the gears in my head start to turn. Bloggers who have a gift for layering tend to catch my eye, as well. I think I have a natural aptitude for layering, but I’m always interested in learning more about how I can take it to the next level (i.e. playing with fabric lengths and asymmetrical patterns). 

How can the WNJ readers keep up with you?

On the Blog






Thrifty Thursday: Thrift vs. Consignment

Hey there! Today I want to talk about thrift vs. consignment. While I’ve been more partial to thrifting, I must say that consignment shopping has been a fun adventure lately. As the Consignment Thread writer for DomiCile Magazine, I’ve been trekking across the DMV area looking for the best spots for consignment shopping. Some people have asked what’s the difference is between the two (thrifting & consignment shopping), so today I’m going to share my thoughts.

Consignment vs. Thrifting


Consignment Shops/Boutiques 

People bring their (gently) used items to consignment shops to sell. Once their item(s) is inspected/evaluated, it’s up to the store to determine if that item can be sold at their location. Once that is determined, the item is marked and placed on the sales floor to be sold on behalf of the consigner. Each consignment shop has their own system as to how they “watch” the consigners items. In the end, the consignment shop takes a percentage of the sale and then pays the consigner the remainder.  If the item(s) doesn’t sell the consignment shop returns the item to the consigner.

Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are filled with donated items like shoes, clothes, jewelry, dishes, furniture, etc. Most thrift stores are charity and non-profit based. (i.e. Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.) Thrift store prices vary, but most times the prices are very affordable. Depending on the thrift store, the items will be sized and organized by section (i.e. pants, blouses, handbags, kitchenware, etc.). Some thrift stores are not as organized as others, so the finding what you’re looking for may require more time.



Why do I like consignment shopping? 

When consignment shopping, I know I’m going to find quality items that have little to no wear and tear. Am I going to pay for that? Yes. But certain thing like authentic handbags and shoes, exquisite and rare jewelry finds or authentic paintings from a certain time period I don’t mind shelling out more cash for. I also like the attention I receive when consignment shopping. Most consignment shops are small boutiques, especially those that carry higher end items. So you get that one on one shopping experience; the staff helps you find exactly what you’re looking for, or they point you in the right direction. The consignment shops I’ve visited like Rita G’s or Style Finds have staff members who know their inventory like it’s their own. In some cases, the owner is on the sales floor helping customers find the perfect item. I love that!

Why do I like thrift shopping?

Thrifting is all about the thrill of the hunt. To be quite honest, you may or may not find what you’re looking for the 1st time. But along the way, you find some pretty cool stuff! If you’re an avid thrifter then you know which stores to go to find what you need. Unlike consignment shops the prices are more affordable. However, the items may require a bit of TLC due to their less than perfect condition. Some of my favorite things to thrift are  leather and winter jackets/wraps, handbags, and “on trend items” like kimonos. I’ve also found that the clothing sizes range wider while thrifting than I while shopping consignment stores. Something to consider. ;-)

thrifting for trends


So tell me, what do you think about Thrift vs. Consignment? Which “method” of shopping do you prefer? Let me know!

Thanks for reading another one of my Thrifty Thursday posts and I hope you have a better understanding of the whole thrift vs. consignment thing. ;-) If you have more questions, feel free to contact me. Until next time, be blessed and stay safe….XO!


Linkups: Thursday Favorite Things, Tres-Chic Fashion



11 Reasons Why You Should Be Thrifting

Happy Thrifty Thursday, friends! I want to jump right in today, so I’ll cut to the chase. Yes, I love to thrift and you know it. Of course thrifting saves money and thrifting can also be a joyous “treasure hunt”, once you get the hang of it. But why should YOU start, if you haven’t already? Glad you asked! ;-) Here are 11 Reasons Why You Should Be Thrifting. 

why you should be thrifting1.  Create your own style.  Thrift stores have a plethora of items from all decades/eras. Rummaging through and finding different prints, materials and designers to fall in love with is the start to creating your own (unique) personal style.

2. QUALITY material & brands. Unlike a lot of trendy clothing stores and brands, thrift stores have a great selection of clothes made of materials like silk, cashmere, and sturdy cotton that will indeed last a long time. I’ve stumbled upon brands and designers like Saks Fifth Avenue,  Escada, Brooks Brothers and Corbin – all high quality and at unbelievable price points.

3. Home decor GALORE. If you’re looking to furnish or decorate your new or current home, thrift stores are gold mines for plates, placements, rugs, lamps, etc. I found a set of dishes (including salt and pepper shakers) for $8 – all of the dishes were intact!

4. You’re doing a good deed. Did you know that Salvation Army stores donate their profits to certain charities? According to the Goodwill of Greater Washington‘s mission statement, they’re dedicated to “transforming lives and communities through the power of education and employment.” 

5. Great spot for collectors. If you’re into collecting items like old albums, jewelry, ties, etc. thrift stores are the place for you – It’s literally a collectors paradise!

6. Vintage is always in style. Vintage clothing options are plentiful at most thrift stores. Certain vintage items are true statement items that will never go out of style. Trust me, every closet needs a few statement pieces. 

Thrifted Vintage Fashion

7. It’s a great place to find books. If you’re an avid reader, a lot of thrift stores have really amazing collections of older novels, how-to books, cookbooks, children’s books and more. Whatever your interest, I’m sure you can find a book about it!

8. Get a good deal every time you shop. You don’t have to wait for a holiday or use a special coupon. More than likely any day you deiced to go thrifting, you’re going to find unbeatable deals! **Most thrift stores have certain markdown/sale days too – just ask! **

9. Dress the Man in Your Life. Men’s clothes are usually more expensive than women’s clothes. Thrift stores seem to always have a variety of suits, ties, coats and dress shoes for men. My hubby found a 2 piece suit at the Goodwill in Annandale, VA for $20. The suit had never been worn (still had tags) and was in impeccable condition. #WINNING


10. Buy for resale. It’s no secret that a lot of online entrepreneurs use the thrift store to purchase valuable items at a discount price to resell. Places like eBay and Etsy are great sites to give reselling certain thrifted items a try.

11. IT’S FUN! Trust me on this one. ;-)



So tell me, have I convinced you to start thrifitng yet? ;-) What’s the latest item(s) you’ve found while thrifting? Let me know!

As always, thanks for reading and commenting. Feel free to check out my thrifting tips on The Curvy Fashionista or check out some advice/tips from some of my Thrifty Friends here at WNJ. Until next time, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

P.S. Don’t forget to link up your recent outfit to my Personal Style Linkup:-)


Linkups: Working Girl With Style, Tres-Chic Thursday, I Feel Pretty, LYLS, Friday Fab Faves