Green Jeans – Scores and Sales {SouthPark – Spring 2014}

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Hey Guys!

I thought I’d share a little bit more about the results of the latest Green Jeans sale I participated in – the 2014 spring SouthPark event. I’ll start with some highlights from my experience as a shopper and end with my seller results.

Green Jeans Shopping Scores

Here are some of the great finds I purchased…

Green Jeans Purchase

I spotted these sparklies when I was volunteering in the designer section. I managed to resist them at first, but once I was able to purchase them for half off ($8) on the second day, I had to get them. They’re a little on the heavy side for me, but I was willing to take a risk for such a low price.

Green Jeans Purchase

I saw this bright pink Rachel Pally dress when I was helping break down the room. It was on a rack that was marked to be donated and literally right in front of my face as I was helping move the rack. Since this one was only $14.25 (the price tag said the retail is $198!), I thought even if it doesn’t work as a dress, I can use it as a beach or pool cover-up.

Green Jeans Purchase

Here’s another find from my last day of volunteering. Someone put this army green top on the return rack after trying it on, and it caught my eye. I’m a sucker for over-sized t-shirts. This Cynthia Rowley shirt was only $2.50 since it was half off day, so I quickly added it to the rack for holds to purchase after my shift.

Green Jeans Purchase

This black Ya Los Angeles dress with a studded “belt” was a try-on-just-for-fun item. But, once it was on, I really liked it. I noticed the dress had an interesting cut at the hips that jutted out just a bit in a way that I found really unique. The half off price of only $12.75 definitely made the sale worthwhile for me. I’m thinking it will be fun to wear on a date night.

Green Jeans Purchase

Here’s one of the few things I purchased “full price.” One of the other volunteers handed me this pretty patterned wrap dress to try on, and I just loved it. It’s a Boden, and it was only $19.50. I can’t wait to wear this to work this summer! The purchase inspired me to order the catalog, which came just a couple days later. The style is a little preppy for what I’m wearing these days, but I may find something cute to wear to work.

Green Jeans Purchase

And here’s another item I waited to go half off before I pounced – a beautiful zig-zag Missoni shawl. Missoni! I scored this for only $35! Woohoo!

I purchased a couple other great items, but I thought I’d just share a couple of the stand outs.

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Green Jeans Sales Results

Green Jeans Results

I don’t think I’ve shared much information on my consignor results in the past, but I thought some of you (especially you Charlotteans!) may find it interesting.

Here are my results selling at the spring 2014 Green Jeans event:

  • Of all the items I took to the consignor drop off, 8 weren’t accepted to the sale.
  • I had 114 items in the sale (between hanging items, shoes, belts, scarves, etc.).
  • After the sale, 5 items were returned as not-sellable (items can get marked during the sale if they’re found to be too worn, have defects, etc.).
  • I sold 24 items with a consignor percentage of 75% (thanks to all those volunteer shifts).
  • All in all, I made $291.56 and more space in my house!

I got really geeky with my sales info this time around. I copied it all and pasted it into a spreadsheet where I could create all kinds of pivot charts and reports. I found that I sold items that had been transferred from almost every past sale (I’ve done 5 total now). This happens almost every time I sell with GJ, which is why I always do the pick-up and transfer the items to the next sale. The kink with this strategy is that you have to bring all that stuff back to your house and hold onto it. Since I have an extra closet, this isn’t a problem for me currently. I also calculated average price per item by category, number of items sold by day, and number of items sold by category…among other things I won’t bore you with.

I had another great Green Jeans sale! I only wish I had participated in the Lake Norman one, too, because I probably would have made closer to $500 total! Ahh…at least there is plenty of time to prepare for the fall sales!

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Have you had any luck consigning at a shopping event or local consignment shop?

Anyone else doing a major spring clean purge of their closets? Don’t forget to check out my 3 rules for closet purging if and when you do!

Thanks for reading!

3 Rules for Closet Purging – Closet Spring Clean

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It’s time for a spring clean of my wardrobe! What about you? I haven’t posted recently about working towards my Parisian Wardrobe, but it’s still very much a goal for me. I’ve been letting everyday business get in the way of spending some QT looking through my clothes and accessories, but there’s nothing like a Green Jeans Consignment Sale to kick your rear into gear.

As I looked through my closets, I followed 3 rules for closet purging. I’ll share those below.

Green Jeans Consignment Sale

{My goods for the Green Jeans Sale – I have 114 items in the spring Southpark sale}

Each time I participate in a Green Jeans sale, it gets a little easier to let things go. It also helps to look at something and say, I didn’t sell this in the last 5 sales because I said I’d wear it. Here we are, and I still haven’t worn it. Maybe it’s time to let it go. There are some other items, like a couple Coach purses, that I’ve been holding onto for sentimental reasons. But, I finally added them this time around. One of my main motivations is knowing I can turn those clothes (and accessories) I don’t wear into cash.

Green Jeans Consignment Sale

{A couple J. Crew cardigans that are super soft and pretty with cute little buttons that unfortunately shrunk}

3 Rules for Closet Purging (Parisian Wardrobe Style)

I’ve been doing a lot of analysis on my current wardrobe, and asking myself some good questions. What do I really-really wear? What are my favorite things to wear? What are the things I gravitate towards. What do I have in my closet that I like but look at and say, I don’t want to wear that today because   (insert reason)   ?

Rule #1: If there are things you consistently pass over, they need to go…even if you like them or think they’re cute. If you’re not wearing them, they’re taking up precious real estate in your closet that they shouldn’t. Make room for something you love.

You may pass over something because of the next rule, or because the item in question is too big, too small, too uncomfortable. Whatever the reason, unless you can fix it (get it tailored?), it may be time to move on.

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I’ve also tried to be realistic with myself about my style. My current style. I used to wear a lot more preppy pieces of clothing and accessories. I’ve grown away from that in both my work and casual wear. I try to remind myself – there’s a reason you stopped wearing some of things you did.

Rule #2: Ask yourself as you evaluate something if it fits with your current style. Style can easily change over time, and your wardrobe should change with you. I used to hold onto things “in case I need them one day”, but unless you have a huge basement or attic (and even if you do) to store these types of clothes, this may not be the best strategy. Remember the goal is to have items you truly love and love to wear in your closet.

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Rule #3: Quality over quantity. It’s better to replace ten things you don’t wear any more or don’t really like to wear with one item you love and that makes you feel confident and happy.

This last rule is really a theme of the Parisian Wardrobe, but I try to remind myself of this as I’m pulling items from my closet. I used to dream of having a closet like Cher’s in Clueless. You know, the one with the rotating hanger rack. But, I’ve come to a place where I believe you really can have too much clothes.

I pulled six pairs of shoes that fell under Rule #1 above and replaced them with one new pair I recently purchased. I moved the six pairs into another room where I was gathering items for Green Jeans a few weeks ago and forgot about them! Guess I didn’t need to hold onto those after all if I can’t even remember I have them. If I was actually wearing them (and needed them), I would have looked for them. I didn’t, so they’re getting prepped for sale at Green Jeans right now!

***

Even though this process of closet purging is getting easier, it’s not easy. I probably shouldn’t be so attached to my clothes and accessories, but for whatever reason, I often am. I’ll remember a special event where I wore something or if I bought something because of a special event (a raise at work or for another celebration). I try to remember that I have the memories and the experience and that’s more important than the physical item. You’re not defined by the things you own. You are just you, and you are fabulous with or without those strappy shoes you haven’t worn in two years. Got it? Good!

Anyone else doing a spring clean of their closet?

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If you’re in the Charlotte area, check out the Green Jeans Consignment Sale. It’s happening this weekend and Sunday, most of the items go to 50% off! If you’re thinking about consigning, I recommend stopping by, even if you’re not planning to shop to get an idea of how the event runs and check out pricing to give you guidelines for when you consign with Green Jeans.

Thanks for reading!

Pots Off Peachtree, Hair Tie Holder, Lavender Cookies, & a Healthy Eating Book

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Pots Off Peachtree

I did one of the coolest things I’ve done in Charlotte this past weekend. I went to a secret, underground dinner. It was wonderful, and I can’t wait to share photos (and more details) in my next blog post. But, for now, I have some other cool things to share.

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First up – check out this beautiful, handmade pottery. When my friend Ted offered for me to check out his mother-in-law’s handmade pottery, I jumped at the chance. Pots Off Peachtree gifted me with this bowl and a mug.

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From the Pots Off Peachtree etsy site:

Charlotte DuPre began making pottery in Atlanta over 35 years ago and has sold her work at both galleries and stores including Macy’s and Henri Bendel in New York. Back in the 1980′s her Manhattan studio was named Pots Off Broadway. Now in Atlanta and after a long break from her craft, she is very excited to be making functional porcelain and Raku pots again, and she has chosen to name her online store Pots Off Peachtree, in reference to Atlanta’s most famous street.

Her porcelain tableware is oven proof, microwaveable, and dishwasher-safe. She also fires Raku pots, which are primarily decorative. All of her glazes are lead-free.

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I love Charlotte’s signature on the bottoms of her work.

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And I really love how the pottery is a pretty, pearly white on the outside and then vibrantly colored on the inside. She has some other pieces that have different coloring, but I think the white outside and colored inside is a signature look of hers.

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Check out the gentle curves of the mug.

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I’m definitely going to have fun using this pottery, and you guys know I love handmade pottery, especially.

If you want to get your hands on some Pots Off Peachtree pottery, you can click here to check out Charlotte’s etsy site.

New Use for Old Things

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Here’s a quick new-use-for-old-things tip. I had an almost-hair-emergency last week when I was teaching Zumba. I had put my hair in a bun using some mini claw clips to wear at work, but I forgot to bring a hair elastic with me for later. I thought I had some in my bag, but I didn’t. I realized I didn’t really have a good, small bag to put them in, so they never made it into the gym bag (or purse). I recently used some Lululemon gift cards to get a couple new goodies, and I almost turned in my gift card holder to the store to recycle. Good thing I didn’t because it makes the perfect hair accessory container for my gym bag. I’m definitely going to need to make sure I have some extra hair ties at all times. Though I like to teach Zumba with my hair down sometimes, it has to be planned. It doesn’t always work and putting your hair up can be a must. Luckily, one of my class assistants had an extra in her car. Phew!

Lavender Cookies

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And check out this beautiful creation.

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My friend Lindsey made lavender cookies and gave me two to enjoy. They were delicious, and you can find the lavender cookie recipe here if you want to try them yourself.

***

Healthy Eating Book

Are there any fellow non-dieters out there looking for some healthy eating advice? I know I’ve blogged about this book before, but for new readers, I highly recommend Food Rules by Michael Pollan. It’s short, simple, and has easy-to-digest tips. I’ve found the tips in Pollan’s book the most memorable, and I even think of many of them today (almost exactly 3 years after first reading the book). In fact, it’s been awhile. I should probably re-read it sometime soon. It’s a fast read, and I think it only took me a couple hours to finish. Now that’s what I call a good ROI. Of course everyone is different, and what works for one person won’t work for the next. But, hopefully, even though we may resonate with some of Pollan’s rules more than others, there are some good tips in there for everyone.

The most memorable rules for me are:

  • #2 – Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food
  • #6 – Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients
  • #7 – Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce
  • #22 – Eat mostly plants, especially leaves
  • #25 – Eat your colors
  • #39 – Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself

***

Check back soon for the secret dinner photos. I took a whole bunch, and I’ve selected some to share with you guys. I just have to get the full post together. Can’t wait to share!

***

Reader question: What healthy eating book is most memorable for you?

Pantry Clean-Out and Eat in Month Groceries

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I’m so glad to hear so many people are joining in on the Eat in Month challenge! Twitter and Facebook have been abuzz with people sharing how they’re getting ready. The theme of the day seems to be prep, mostly stocking up on groceries. It’s a good strategy and one I started on the other day while I had some free time.

I spent a good portion of Sunday prepping for Eat in Month as follows:

  1. I removed any old/expired foods from the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer.
  2. I assessed what I had remaining and what I thought I needed (as far as solid staples) and made a shopping list.
  3. I went grocery shopping, focusing on getting staples that were on sale.
  4. I re-stocked and re-organized (grouping like items) the new and old staples in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer.

I gotta say, this is definitely a great way to start the year. I feel like I have a great grasp on what foods I have and I’m ready to tackle the new year eats-wise. And I just love how everything is so organized! Here are some photos of my pantry and the groceries I picked up:

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{Before}

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{After}

I still want to get some more storage containers, but I’m researching good options. I’m considering just getting larger mason jars, but I’m not sure they’re the most efficient. I definitely want to get glass containers. Do you guys have any recommendations?

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I love having frozen fruits and vegetables in the freezer at all times. The vegetables make a great, last-minute side and can also be thrown into soups and noodle stir-fries.

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I love broths for quick soups, to cook grains, or to make simple sauces.

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This is a random mix of items here. I don’t drink soda very often, but I like having some light options when the mood strikes. I love having the ginger ales they sell at health food stores around – they have great ingredient lists. This one in particular is sweetened with honey and pineapple juice. I also really love Cascal. Fresh fruit is a must – we almost always have bananas and apples. Snack bars are also a must, but I didn’t see any that had a good sale price. I love these Green Superfood bars, but they’re a little more expensive than I want to spend for pantry snack bars. I try to stay under $2. Larabars are my favorite, and I like to get big boxes of them at Costco.

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Pasta and sauce = easiest last minute dinner ever. We have a quasi-homemade beef sauce that we make when we don’t know what else to eat. I should probably share that recipe with you guys. Maybe in the next week or so? But, if you’re really desperate, you can just cook pasta and add this sauce and call it a night.

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Various tomato products are great for some many things – to add flavor to soups or make quick sauces.

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Here are some more great pantry staples – tomato paste – to add to sauce and soups. Garlic – good with almost everything. Panko breadcrumbs – makes a simple and easy dinner when paired with chicken.

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I’m not vegan or dairy-free, but I prefer non-dairy milks to make oatmeal or smoothies.

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Tofu – an easy way to bulk up protein when you haven’t been to the store recently. I like to add these to soups or noodle stir-fries, and it’s great marinated in soy sauce and then roasted. I love yogurt for a filling but healthy snack – straight-up or topped with granola. Eggs – a great, quick protein and a breakfast staple in our house. We love fried eggs or egg bakes with whole grain toast.

***

I’m thinking of re-writing my pantry tips post. I read the one I did a couple years ago, and it’s still good, but I think I have a couple more tips, and I’d definitely like to update the photos. Any interest?

Anywho, I’ve got some ideas for quick and easy meal ideas, and I made a new soup recipe that would be great to make for a cozy meal. Plus, it makes lots of leftovers that you can freezer for later. I think frozen soup is going to be my life saver this year as far as the challenge goes.

Reader question: What groceries have you gotten recently?

Photography & Lightroom Organization Series: My Photography Workflow

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When I originally started planning this series on Photography & Lightroom Organization, I expected to write just one post to cover all points. Now, I’m planning to write multiple, smaller posts that will be easier to digest and organize. I already shared the intro (which explains how this whole series came about), and now I’m ready to discuss my photography workflow. At first, my workflow was just going to be a simple sentence at the beginning of the Plan section, but after some thought, I decided that it could use some elaboration and a dedicated post. Plus, I was inspired by the workflow posts linked at the end of this post. Not to mention, I also thought this would be easier for people to share their workflows, since I’m hoping to get lots of reader feedback on each post of the series. You guys are a wealth of knowledge, and I love it when you share your know-how. Who knows? Maybe you’ll inspire me to change my workflow?

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{I made a diagram for this post. Is my geek-ness showing yet?}

My Photography Workflow

  1. Take Pictures – Duh! You need photos to edit and organize. But, I often will shoot photos for multiple blog posts (or for personal use) in between importing to Lightroom. Some people like to shoot one set of photos and then import right away. 1photoshoot to 1 import. I just shoot whenever I feel like it and import when I have time. I can have photos from many different events on one card at one time. Currently, I have photos from about 10 recipes, 1 themed Zumba class, 1 wedding, and a couple random blog posts. I use Lightroom to keep these straight by organizing them at Import. Once I’ve imported all the photos from the card, I format the card in my camera to delete all the photos and make space for new ones.
  2. Import to Lightroom – Some people import their photos from their memory card to the computer and then to Lightroom. I choose to import straight to Lightroom. Since Lightroom is so powerful and actually creates your folder(s) on your computer and puts the images in them, I find importing straight to Lightroom saves a step. I add all my metadata and keywords during import.
  3. Work with Files – I do almost all of my photo editing in Lightroom. I go through all my photos, decide which ones to edit, and edit the selected photos.
  4. Export .jpgs – I export the edited photos as smaller-sized .jpgs for use in blog posts, etc.
  5. Clean Up – I usually wait until I’ve published the blog post for the related photos before I go back to Lightroom and clean-up those I don’t want to keep. I usually do this so if I change my mind about any photos while I’m working on the blog post, I can go back and select a different one (or a couple) to edit and export. Usually, once I’m done with the blog post, I know with more certainty which photos I want to keep and which I want to delete. I used to be lazy and skip this step, which helped my laptop filled up with superfluous photos quite quickly. Not good. Now, I delete extra photos almost immediately, and I find it’s much easier to do this as you go, rather than returning at a later date and reviewing old folders.
  6. Move External – I don’t have a good system at the moment for when I move photos to external storage. I just recently moved all my photos through 2011 to an external drive. So far, my computer is still pretty empty, so I’m in no rush to move the current photos off.

Please note: I went over each of these steps at a pretty high level because we’ll be discussing these in more detail in the other posts of the series.

While I was researching tips and tricks for this series, I stumbled upon these great posts on Photography Workflows, which you may also find helpful:

Next up in this series, I’ll go over:

  • Folder and file naming conventions
  • How to move folders without creating Lightroom errors
  • How to work with your photos / deciding what to delete and keep
  • Utilizing external storage (making space on your computer for more photos!)
  • Advanced organization considerations

Reader question: What’s your photography workflow? Do you like it? What do you want to change or why do you use it the way you do?

Photography & Lightroom Organizing Series Intro

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Hey guys!

Note: If you’re a reader of TCL for food or fashion (wait a minute…you’re just reading for Bailey photos, aren’t you?), you may want to skip this one. This post is an introduction to a series I’m writing on Photography and Lightroom Organization.

So, I somewhat recently ran into a major issue related to photography and blogging. I managed to fill up my entire laptop with photos, making it very difficult for me to import new photos or new blog posts. I shoot in RAW, so this didn’t actually take very long. My problem was that I was being lazy about not only organizing my photos, but also about learning best practices for doing so. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, and I was too busy to research, so I just didn’t try. I procrastinated. This was a big mistake. I was also afraid of moving all my photos to an external drive because I was worried I’d do it the wrong way and/or the drive would crash and I’d lose all my photos. I didn’t clean my photos up as well as I could, sure. But, the more serious issues was that I didn’t come up with a good system to follow. So, with a laptop full to the brim with photos, I knew something had to change, and I needed to get it together. I did the best thing I knew – I consulted the experts.

I contacted 4 fellow food bloggers and professional photographers to ask for their tips and feedback. They are:

(Check out their blogs and web sites – they’re amazing!)

They were all wonderful and sent me their tips and strategies. I happily read through them, and when I had the time, I started implementing some of their suggestions. First, I worked on fixing what was broken – I created a system for how I wanted to organize my photos, and I stuck to it. Afterwards, once I had some free time, I re-organized all of my old photos and moved most of them to external storage. Now, my photos are organized (and stay that way with every import), and my laptop has plenty of space for new photos.

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I’m not an expert in photography, Lightroom, or organization. But, I did think it would be helpful to others if I shared the information I collected from my photo gurus, as well as, my experience with organizing photos. The important thing to note is that there isn’t one right way to do things. There are many ways, and you’ll want to tailor your solution so it best fits you. Hopefully, some of the information from these posts or resources I share get you on the right path.

In this series, I’m going to go over:

  • My photography workflow
  • Folder and file naming conventions
  • How to move folders without creating Lightroom errors
  • How to work with your photos / deciding what to delete and keep
  • Utilizing external storage (making space on your computer for more photos!)
  • Advanced organization considerations

Stay tuned for more follow-up posts to come!

Oh, and if you’re a professional photographer and/or advanced Lightroom user, please feel free to weigh in at any time with your thoughts. I’m sure you have great feedback, and I invite you to share your know-how if you want.

Do you use Lightroom? Do you have any questions for now one general Photography or Lightroom Organization?

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