MHL Thrifting Trip: Goodwill and Big Lots

Yesterday, I did something I’m quite proud of.  I went out all by myself.

You see, I could never leave the house when B.’s not here to drive me around.  It’s embarrassing to admit but I never learned to drive.  I’m terrified of it, and it was one of the fears I decided to get over while I’m here.  But having gone through a car accident a few weeks ago which totaled our beloved Scion XB, Snowy (he was like our pet), only made me more afraid.  Still, I promised B. I’d get driving lessons come spring.

Luckily, Goodwill is just a few minutes walk away from our place.  I’ve been there twice with B. but I’ve always wanted to go by myself.  Although he’s been patient and even enjoys shopping with me, when there’s nothing for him in the racks, I feel guilty about letting him wait for me .  So today, after B. left for class, I decided to go there after I finished a few chores.  It was like a reward.

Before I left, a little green doggy wanted to come along.  He said he’d hide in my bag so I wouldn’t look ridiculous.  But I told him to stay home and guard the apartment instead.  Then I gave him a snuggle-kiss and headed off to Goodwill.

Looking around at Goodwill, I realized just how much stuff people accumulate and discard. Had I owned the clothes on the racks, I don’t think I could have given them up.  They were in good condition; definitely could still be worn, and surely could be upcycled.  I bet some of the clothes and knick knacks were once gifts people pondered over to give their loved ones.  This reminds me of the movie, “The Grinch”.  Near the end, when the grinch revealed why the people in Whoville disgusted him, he said something like, “And do you know where all these gifts end up?  It all goes to me as your garbage!”  I guess it’s better that things end up in Goodwill.  At least they have a chance to find a new home.  But what about items that never get sold?  Where do they eventually go?

I bought 2 scarves for a buck ten each.  Do you like them?

I know.  They look like boas and that’s exactly why I love them.  I’ve always had a thing for feather boas but I don’t think I have the neck or the guts for it.  These furry scarves are great substitutes.  The aqua blue one is fabulous because it’s ultra soft and you can wear it in 2 ways.  I have a purple one just like it that I thrifted at home.  The red one isn’t as soft, so I might use it as material for a future project.  We’ll see.

Last Christmas, a crafty friend told me she bought her yarn at Big Lots for a dollar each.  Although I doubted the yarn would still be there (and besides she went to a different branch), I went to Big Lots before going home.  Lo and behold, I found piles of lovely-lush yarn!  They were selling for 1.50 each but I thought they were well worth it.  I bought all these:

I’m so excited!  I think I may do some macrame soon.  Incidentally, I love that lady manning the Big Lots counter.  When she saw my basket filled with yarn, she was impressed.  “Good girl!” she said.  It made me laugh.   I was grateful for her kindness because at Goodwill, the girl manning the counter was grumpy and kind of mean when I got confused with the card-swiping.  She looked at the people behind me and rolled her eyes.  So, Big Lots lady, you really made my day; Goodwill girl, grow up!

Yesterday’s outfit was:

Knitted dirty-grey bonnet: bought in Incheon Airport, Korea (Chris if you’re reading this, I wouldn’t have bought it without your help!  So thanks!)
Knitted green long sleeves: thrifted back home
Denim grey/black A-line skirt: thrifted back home
Black V-neck blouse: thrifted back home
Green tights: thrifted back home
Black slouchy boots: thrifted back home
Yellow bracelet watch: a gift from my mom’s friend
Blue gloves/mittens:  Roeckl, thrifted back home
A happy smile: my parents

In case you don’t know yet, if I say “thrifted back home“, it means the price tag was possibly less than a dollar unless I indicate otherwise. 🙂

I was excited to finally use this shoulder bag today:

I don’t know if it’s vintage, but I do know it’s a genuine Francois Marot.  I love this bag because it’s elegant and, though it doesn’t look it, really quite spacious.  I thrifted it for (don’t hate me now) less than a dollar!  I’ve been very lucky with Francois Marot bags.  I think I thrifted about 4 shoulder bags and 2 clutches all in great condition and all for less than 2 dollars.  I think it’s greedy to own so many Francois Marots, and I really saved them from the landfills in the hopes of selling them in the future.  Maybe.

That’s all, lovelies!  Have a wonderful day!

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10 thoughts on “MHL Thrifting Trip: Goodwill and Big Lots

  1. Sarah B. says:

    Hi!
    I see that you collect Francois Marot bags…I just bought one made out of Stingray. I didnt know it was a Francois Marot until yesterday. I have never heard of the brand before. I have been looking for information on them, but I cant find any. I was hoping maybe you could tell me a bit about them?
    Thanks!

    • Hello there!

      Doubtless you’ve googled Francois Marot and came up with nothing but sites of bags for sale. I read from a trademark site that the brand stopped producing in 1983, and about the obvious dog logo but that’s about it. But this can only mean that you are officially an owner of a vintage bag, and, judging from the way FM leather goods are being sold and featured in fashion blogs, one that’s highly valued.

      I didn’t really set out to collect them but I bought my first one because I loved how the leather felt to my touch, the quality of the hardware, and the simplicity of its design. It’s not a brand that screams to be noticed, but, rather, it is understated and elegant. Unlike well-known brands like Coach or Dooney and Burke whose bags now suffer in quality from now being made in China, Francois Marot will forever be known for it’s good craftsmanship. The fact that, decades later, FM bags in great condition are being sold on ebay, etsy, etc., is testament to its high quality.

      So, congratulations on owning an FM bag. 🙂 Let ME know if you come across more information on the brand. 🙂

  2. Dorothy Villa says:

    I love that you’re into recycling! Goodwill is my go to place when I want something to spice up my wardrobe. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks, Dorothy! Yup, Goodwill is like a wonderland with hidden treasures to unearth. 🙂 I try not to buy just anything now and only what I need. So even if I’m liking another leather bag, I walk away hoping it will find a better home with someone else. 🙂

  3. cato says:

    eeee!! all that pretty yarn! we don’t have any in such pretty colors here at home. and i bet the quality’s better pa. pangit ng yarn dito. swear. hahaha! 🙂

    inggit akoooooo! if ever you decide to visit us back here in the tropics, and you feel like bringing pasalubong, any sort of yarn would make me VERY happy. hahaha! nagpaparinig. 🙂

    i guess i should order yarn online but i don’t have money yet of my own (that i earn myself) kaya i’m still hesitant to try. maybe when i start working na. 🙂

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard you squeal before! Hahaha! You must really be into yarn! (As if I didn’t squeal inside when I saw the yarn at the store. Ahem…)

    The thing is, I think a lot of yarn here are made in China (where else?) but they’re still quite expensive. The cheapest I’ve seen at Walmart is $3.50 a roll and they were synthetic and not soft at all. The ones I got were suede and dirt-cheap at $1.50! Yes, I was so lucky! Where do you buy yarn ba? My mom and I were able to get decent yarn there but I forgot the brand name. I’ll ask her and get back to you!

    • cato says:

      i think i caught the nuance of squeals from one of my batchmates. 🙂 she squeals a lot. and yeah. i’m into yarn. i’m a girl who works with them. crochet- and knitting-wise. 🙂

      ahh so it’s expensive pala there.. but still. i guess you have to pay for quality. the best yarn ata here is Red Heart brand. i think i can only find that in Craft World or something. the other ones i get here and there snag quite a lot when you work with them. and they’re not good for knitting clothes because they’re extremely itchy to wear against your skin. i made leg warmers so i know. they’re good to wear over tights or socks or whatever though. very warm.

      but its either yarn like that or the thin crochet threat of Monaco (or the even thinner one of Canon). nothing in between or fatter. or even other than synthetic. it’s frustrating if you have patterns for clothes or whatever that need a certain yarn size and it’s not available in any stores. and craft stores here are so hard to find. :S

      When I was a young girl, my mom took me to this obscure store piled with cut-up sweaters of all shades and textures. When I say piles, I mean piles. We had to dig through them to pick out the sweaters we liked and bought them by the kilo for a song. The lady told us a sweater making factory dumps all of these cut-up sweaters because of quality control. The yarn they used were of good quality (the kind you like) and the flaws were usually missed stitches and not in the yarn itself. The only drawbacks were the sneezing fits I would get whenever we went there and we had to unravel the sweaters ourselves. I didn’t mind the latter because I liked rolling yarn into balls. I doubt if that store still exists. That was a really fun time for my mom and I.

      • cato says:

        wow! i bet you had good memories of those times. but i bet the store isn’t there anymore. doesn’t exactly sound like a store that will keep up ’til now..

        True.

  4. Sounds like a great outing! I hope you’ll be driving someday soon. Yes, scary, but we never get over fears until we do the thing we’re scared of. And besides, when you can drive yourself, just think of all the thrift stores you’ll be able to go to!

    Oh, that last sentence is wonderful and scary at the same time! Hahaha! But I agree that I need to get over this by doing it. Thanks for the words of encouragement and for dropping by, Queen!

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