Second Hand Gift Guide


Happy holidays, second handers! I have missed you all in my blogging absence- but alas, I am back, just in time for the season. One of the things that drives me crazy about second hand shopping is the amount of time it takes, and in times like the holidays, I wish a mall full of thrift, vintage and antique stores existed five steps from my apartment. But thank God the online version is a reality- all hail the powers of Etsy! Continue reading


DIY home decor: Vintage scarf pillows

This post is dedicated to my mom, my tolerant seamstress.

Decorating is a never ending project, and I mean that in a very good way. I am constantly updating my space- putting something special here, changing art there, adding a pop of color anywhere. As you may know, before I moved to San Francisco I put a lot of thought into decorating my bedroom. One of the ideas I was most excited about was sadly not one I could finish before the move: decorative pillows made out of vintage scarves. Continue reading

DIY: Bedroom art

Want to create a fun wall feature without breaking the bank? I did for my new bedroom, and with a little Pin-spiration, some fun paint, a little tape, and less than $20, you too can make a sweet art piece! Follow along, and I’ll teach you how to do it all by yourself. Continue reading

Second hand bedroom

If you’ve been wondering what it takes to get invited into my bedroom, you’re in luck, because today all it takes is reading this blog. Welcome! I hope you feel right at home. Continue reading

Buy me! Second Hand Furniture & more for sale

Hi everyone! Update to the first hand announcements made on Friday: I am no longer having a real garage sale due to lack of stuff to sell and lack of desire to wake up at 5am. Instead, I am selling all my stuff online. Here’s what’s up for grabs! All prices are negotiable- please let me know if you’re interested! Continue reading

Looking for Treasure: Long Beach Antique Market

Long Beach: the largest port on the West Coast, home to the Queen Mary and the first ever Miss Universe pageant, and former home to musical legends Sublime, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg and Warren G. It’s culturally and demographically diverse , with a whole lot of personality and character, making it the perfect spot for one of the southland’s best flea markets, the Long Beach Antique Market. Continue reading

Garage Sale Chic

Photography by Sal Taylor Kydd

Early morning phone calls always freak me out. Especially when it’s a Saturday morning and from someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time. I was happy to see Jaime’s name on my phone a few Saturdays ago, but my heart also skipped a beat. I let it go to voicemail, but listened immediately, and thank God I did.  It said: Shayna, it’s Jaime. I don’t know what you’re doing, but you need to get to Balboa Island immediately. The whole island is having a garage sale.  Continue reading

Vintage Obsession: Out of Vogue

Some may consider re-gifting a great way to get rid of an unwanted Christmas gift without spending any coinage, but in the case of second handing, re-gifting takes on a whole new meaning. I mentioned earlier that I was going to try to extend my second handing to gifts, so when posed with my best friends birthday, I thought it was the perfect time to test my skillz. It’s one thing to shop second hand for yourself, but buying for another can always be tough. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so they say, but what about giving trash disguised as a treasurable pressie? In this case, it’s even better.

Looking for something special and unique, I decided to go to Out of Vogue, a vintage shop in Downtown Fullerton that has a ton of great furniture and housewares, most of which are mid-century modern.  A Fullerton vintage staple for more than 15 years, this shop is owned by a great couple that are extremely knowledgeable and friendly. They know (and readily tell you) the stories behind the pieces they sell. This is what I love most about buying vintage- everything has had a “life” already.

When I entered the store, I told the owner (who was helping his son with homework- cute!) that I was looking for a gift for my best friend. He asked me to describe her and I said the following: she loves things from decades prior- she probably should’ve grown up in the late 60s/early 70s. She loves primary colors, has simple style but likes funky accessories, often wears her hair in a side braid with a flower or scarf and has a love of flannel. It was as if the gods above were listening because moments later, I found the most fitting present I’ve ever purchased. Behold: Guatemalan folk art dolls from the 1970s.

What I didn’t tell the kind sir behind the counter is that Lauren is also obsessed with all things Spanish speaking (didn’t seem like necessary info), so this gift is even more fitting being from Guatemala. These three little ladies were a doable $32 for the set. Out of Vogue isn’t cheap- let’s be straight about that. The owners are known for paying sellers well for the pieces they carry in their store and for this reason, they are sought after by people looking to sell their modern vintage furniture, guitars, housewares, clothing and accessories.

Out of Vogue has earned an enviable reputation in the vintage world, so much so that costume and set designers from the AMC smash Mad Men venture beyond the Orange Curtain to pick up pieces here. Though you may pay a little more for the things you find at Out of Vogue, it’s money well spent. And hey, you’re still recycling!



Sharing is caring: Second hand suggestions

It’s been almost a month since I started this blog, and let me tell you- it’s been way more fun than I imagined it would be. Not only do I find myself much more of an inspired shopper, but I am a much more inspired writer. The enthusiasm and support I’ve gotten from all of you has been the main motivator in this- I can’t wait to show you what I’ve found. Apparently that’s rubbing off a little and you are sharing things with me, like Tania’s recommendation to head to Costa Mesa’s Goodwill. This whole recycle, reuse and reduce thing just got a whole lot more fashionable and fun, thanks to all of you. Since sharing is caring, I’m going to re-share the shares so we can all share in the second hand love.

Jackie, a media planner and Venice Beach resident (read: she’s cooler than me), shared Ramona West, of which I am both thankful and pissed. Ramona West is a online vintage retailer from SoCal that is super picky about the pieces they stock- they want vintage that’s also current which is much easier said than done sometimes. Welp, Ramona knows what she’s doing. So thanks a lot, Jackie, this website will probably be the death of one of my main aims in this challenge- to save money. At least most these clothes are sized for 13 year old boys.

Some of Ramona’s looks. Beezus is probably pretty jealous.

Joanna, a fellow Anteater/journalist/Costa Mesa resident/second hand aficionado and of course, friend, showed me that second handing for a year doesn’t equal death. Living the Goodwill Life followed Beautiful Existence (yes, that is the name she uses) through 2011 as she solely shopped at Goodwill and saved a total of $13,000! Thanks to the above, I will probably not succeed in saving that much, but this blog is totally inspiring. If this lady can limit herself to Goodwill for a year, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to accomplish my task.

Living the Goodwill Life’s header

Like me, Jo has pretty much furnished her entire apartment off second hand goods, most of which were found out at Goodwill. Check out this cute side table she snagged this week for $20.

Great find, Jo!

Orly, a fashion professional living in New York (my friends are pretty accomplished, eh?), posted the Uniform Project on my Facebook wall. The Uniform Project is way more gnarly that what I’m attempting to do. For one year, Sheena Matheiken wore the same dress every day (she accessorized with recycled or donated pieces) as a means to fundraise money to educate kids in the Indian slums. Sheena raised more than $100,000 and with that money, was able to put 287 kids in school. And good karma she got- more than 2 million views on her blog, was in New York Times, London Times, spoke on Ted Talks, was in a gagillion magazines and has now expanded into a year two of projects. Sheesh, Sheena! Makin’ me look like more than a rookie. A giant two thumbs up for the Uniform Project!

Sheena in her black dress… various days of fabulous accessories

Orly also had this amazing idea: a clothing exchange. Basically, you and your friends get together and each of you bring items of clothing you’re tired of. Trade. SHARE. Get that top of your friends you’ve lusted after for years. No money is exchanged- only wine, laughs and fashion. SO INTO IT!

And last but not least, a big thank you to my friend Rachel who posted this on my Facebook page with a sweet comment that every time I blog a photo, she wishes it would appear in her closet. Maybe if we have a clothing exchange, Rach! 🙂

Second Hand Sunday: Costa Mesa Goodwill

After a tip from my friend Tania, I was itching to head to Costa Mesa’s Goodwill. She said the magic words- Theory, DVF, Missoni and Michael Kors. Though it can be difficult, designer duds aren’t impossible to find at thrift stores. But rarely do you hear such an impressive line up, these labels are generally reserved for the consignment spots. Of course I had to see for myself if it was too good to be true.

I headed to Goodwill on 19th Street in Costa Mesa on Sunday afternoon, continuing my tradition of Sunday second handing. It was packed- apparently I wasn’t the only one with this idea. I’m not going to lie, thrifting is my least favorite form of second hand shopping. Yes, you can find some real gems, but it’s never without digging through lots of crap. I have to be in the mood to dig and have the time on my hands, which is why it’s perfect for a Sunday.

Though the designer duds alluded me (minus a Theory jacket that didn’t fit), I did find some gems. First, I found this little red polyester  number for $2.50. Straight out of the ’80s, I loved the asymmetric details, the color and the button placement.

Polyester red top paired with F21 “leather” skirt, Calvin Klein tights and ShoeMint shoes.

I also found this beautiful silk blouse for $5.99 which was “expressly made for Saks Fifth Avenue,” or so said the tag. Like the red top above, it hailed from sometime around my birth and had fatty shoulder pads that I cut out the second I got home. I love this top (I’m actually wearing it at work today) and think there’s a lot I can do with it. To make life a little more fun, I decided to create a full second handed outfit around the blouse. Everything down to the rings.

From top to bottom: Gold necklace, $4 Salvation Army (Melbourne). Silk blouse $5.99, Goodwill (Costa Mesa). 70s costume rings, family find. Gold clutch, $5 Goodwill (Fullerton). Joes Jeans, $40 Buffalo Exchange (Costa Mesa). Christian Louboutins, $189, Crossroads Trading Post (SF)

This next find was something I was REALLY excited about. For as long as I can remember, our family has had the iconic, red “You Are Special Today” plate. Though we often forget to use it, it’s up there in the cabinet and something I remember from my childhood. I found two of these taped together, marked as $2.50 for the pair. These plates retail for $58, so you can imagine how stoked I was to get my own and one to give away for under three buckaroos. Who wants to come over for dinner and feel special?