6.14.2017

Bettie is Back! Quick NJ Shore Pit Stop

Hello dears,

It's certainly been a while, but after a hiatus your darling Bargain Bettie is back, and with a vengeance!  I was able to score my old work laptop for just $100 (talk about a bargain!), and am ready to get back to updating my fellow thrifters and deal-lovers with my finds.  Just because I haven't been writing certainly does not mean I haven't been shopping (obviously), so hopefully I can catch you all up on some of my deals through more regular Friday Finds!

My most recent shop stop was a stumble-upon moment while spending the day in Red Bank.  I'm planning an event for my company at the GORGEOUS Oyster Point and Molly Pitcher hotels, and after a walk through had some kill time in town before heading on the road home.  I grabbed a quick bite to eat at Taylor Sam's (probably one of the best salad's I've ever had) and was walking back towards my car when I noticed the windows of Greene Street.  The outside of the store looks so chic I wouldn't have even known it was consignment, had the words "Shop, Recycle, Consign" not caught my eye!



The first thing I liked about Greene Street from the moment I stepped in was the ambiance and set up. High ceilings, great lighting, a bit industrial chic with good music; it definitely had a great boutique feel.  Everything felt very fresh; it didn't feel like you were shopping secondhand or consignment at all.


The store was organized into clothing item type: a rack for shirts, a rack for dresses, a high-end designer rack, etc.

A decent men's section!

A section of dresses along the wall.
One thing I LOVED about Greene Street was their shoe section; something about the way they displayed their shoes made me want to desperately find a pair!



For my fitness ladies there was an Activewear rack.  I pulled a super cute Lululemon CRB and a pair of Athleta knickers to try on.  Unfortunately neither fit, but if you're a secondhand Lulu/Athleta junkie like I am, the rack is definitely worth a look.

Ultimately I entered the dressing room with a very heavy hand of hangers - a great cherry printed dress from J.Crew, a funky patterned babydoll by BCBG, and some other fun pieces:


My absolute FAVORITE was a plaid fit n' flare.  I was so sad that it was tight across the bust and was pulling!  It was ever so slight, but pulling in that area is a pet peeve of mine when I wear clothes, so I knew it would constantly bother me.


In the end Greene Street had a really great selection of fun, different pieces.  Everything I had pulled was in really great condition.   By my standards it is on the pricier side; while you're paying significantly less than in-store prices for clothes that are in like-new condition, $30.00 and up for a second-hand, current trend dress isn't my idea of a knock-your-socks-off find (I'd rather spend that on amazing vintage!).  For instance, the plaid dress I liked was $28.95 - if it had been under $15-20, I would have more seriously considered purchasing in light of the pulling. However, if you're simply looking for prices you could find on a clearance rack at your normal mall stores, this would suit your fancy.  Greene Street is actually a chain with multiple locations in NJ and the greater Philadelphia area - I'd love to check other locations out to see what their stock is like.  Apparently they have a men's only store in Chesnut Hill - maybe I'll bring my sweetheart and get his opinion!

My stop at Greene Street was a fun way to end my nice summer day in Red Bank.  I know I barely scratched the surface of fun shopping in this town - I'll be sure to report back when I return for some more serious hunting!

Until the next adventure,

xoxo, Bettie

P.S. - Red Bank is 15 minutes away from one of my favorite places in the world, Delicious Orchards, so you bet I made a pass on my way home.  If you come to this area, don't leave without the world's best cider donuts and pies!



11.05.2015

Bettie's Bargain Beauty Buys!


 After 26 years of being a gal, I finally feel like I'm settling into a beauty routine and am finding my Holy Grail products; products that I depend on and will never live without!  I've been beyond happy to find that lots of my favorites have been from the drugstore, or I'm able to get them from Harmon's (I am the QUEEN of that $5 off of $10 coupon!).  These products are just so divine and are at the perfect prices that I'd figure I'd share them all with you, and about how I use them!  Keep in mind I am NOT a professional by any means, but I think every woman should feel beautiful and healthy, and these products make me feel that way!


1.) Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover ($5.99) I've come to find that my face reacts much better to simple products, preferably organic or natural.  I'm a huge fan of face products at Lush, but this Bargain Bettie only splurges so often!  I tried this product on a whim, literally because it was on the only thing in the store aside from Burts Bees and Yes to Carrots that had the least amount of crappola in it. Since I've been using it every day, I can't tell you how much my face has cleared up!  It also does truly thoroughly remove makeup.  Who doesn't love killing two birds with one stone?
2.) St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub ($3.19) I've been using some version of this scrub for the past 8 years; I started using the Acne Clear version in college, and this product has been a bathroom staple since.  I just love how gritty it is!  It's on the rougher side, which I like- just under being too much for my face.  I also like using it all over my body (again with the 2-for-1!).
3.) Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion ($9.79 for 16oz.) Not going to lie, I'm still not sure how to pronounce this guy! (Seht- a- fil?  Seat-ah-fil? I give up!) However, after trying DOZENS of lotions (both drugstore and not), this has been my hands down favorite.  Simple, scentless, affordable, lightweight....I could go on and on!  I use this every day underneath my primer before makeup.  Also, a little bit goes a LONG way.  The bottle in the picture is the travel size, and I've had it for at least two months!
4.) Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer ($30.00) Okay ladies, have you been keeping this from me?!  Where has this primer been all my life!? I recently stumbled upon a primer display at Ulta, and saw this one featured.  I did some recon online and saw rave reviews, so I decided to give it a try with my Birchbox points (I essentially got it for free!).  Oh my heavens!  I love this primer!  My makeup goes on smooth, and stays all day.  No matter which foundation of mine I use, the are no patchy areas, pores are minimized, and my makeup just stays looking great!  The price itself is on the higher side, but I decided to include it because of what and how much you get for that price.  The bottle is 2oz; around the same price point Benefit's Porefessional is .75oz, and Smashbox's Photo Finish is 1oz.  You're getting double the product!  Definitely worth the investment.
5.) Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder ($3.99) When it comes to my face makeup I usually prefer a dewy look; matte tends to look too flat and dried out on me (or maybe I'm doing it wrong!).  However, if I ever want to purposely mattify a particular area or if I'm feeling kinda oily, I grab this fella.  I also use it to set my eye shadow primer.
6.)  Revlon ColorStay Makeup (not pictured -  $12.99) I have a confession to make - I'm a little obsessed with foundation!  I wish I could easily try every single foundation out there; I'm always looking for the perfect coverage with the perfect finish for my skin type.  Even though I'm always dabbling in new brands and types, I always have this foundation on hand.  It has amazing staying power, gives me the buildable medium coverage I like, and leaves my skin looking natural.  Not to mention, it comes in tons of shades!
7.) NYX HD Eye Shadow Base ($6.99)  Before I was obsessed with foundation, I was obsessed with my oddly greasy eyelids and how no matter what, my eye shadow always creased. I tried all of the reputable primers, but none seemed to do the trick.  I read about NYX's Eye Shadow Base, and figured for that price, why not give it a whirl?  When I set it with the Matte Pressed Powder, my shadow stays better than with anything else!  I've got my mom hooked to; I'm already looking forward to one being tucked in my stocking this Christmas (momma if you're reading this- hint hint!)
8.) Covergirl Lashblast Volume Mascara ($8.99) My gorgeous momma also happens to love playing with makeup, and she introduced me to this mascara a few years ago.  I feel like whenever I may wander off to different mascaras, I always end up back with this one.  It gives great volume without getting clumpy and I never have fallout or smudges throughout the day.  My mom uses this in tandem with their lengthening formula for extra umph!
9.) Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub ($9.95) & Smith's Rosebud Salve ($6.00) These two are a must-have combo for soft, moisturized, flake-free lips.  I'll scrub my lips before I put on my foundation, then put on the salve while I complete the rest of my makeup.  By the time I'm ready to do my lips - voila!  The perfect canvas for any type of lipstick!
10.) Colourpop Cosmetics Lippie Stix ($5.00) These lipsticks and liners are seriously like winning the lottery.  If you don't know about Colourpop yet, go check them out right now!  They have so many colors, and for each Lippie Stick there is an exact liner to match.  Did I mention they were just $5 each?  Since I've bought these, Colourpop has also branched out into more shadows, blushes & highlighters, eyeliner, and now an ultra matte creme lip color.  Can I have them all please!?

There are always new products to try, and I'm always scouring the internet for other suggestions!  What are your favorite beauty products?  Are any of them bargain buys?  Share with all of us in the comments below!

Until next time!

xoxo, Bettie 

10.31.2015

Happy Halloween!

 Happy Halloween darlings! I hope your day is full of fun, sweets, and a few scares for good measure!   I celebrated at work yesterday by adding a $5 witch hat to some items I already had in my closet.  What are you dressing up as this year?  I'd love to hear about your DIY and/or bargain costume - let me know in the comments below!

xoxo, Bettie 

10.07.2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!: The VNA Rummage Sale

It's beginning to look a lot like fall outside; the leaves are turning, air conditioners have been turned off, and Halloween decorations are going up.  Every time a season changes I find myself saying "THIS is my favorite!", but I really think that fall may take the cake.  Pumpkin and apple flavored everything, that crisp fresh air, getting to pull out my favorite sweaters...I love ALL of it!  The beginning of October and the season bring another one of my absolute FAVORITE things, the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) Rummage Sale.  I took Friday off of work this last week to spend three full days shopping this sale inside and out, and I'm so excited to share my finds with you!  But first, for those of you who are seriously missing out and don't know what I'm even talking about, here's the skinny on the host, the Visiting Nurse Association, and the sale!


The Visiting Nurse Association is a non-profit that provides home health and hospice care, adult day services, and community wellness programs in Morris and Somerset County NJ.  Their mission is to "provide their services to all those in need, regardless of their ability to pay or insurance coverage."  Twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring, the VNA holds a huge rummage sale, where the proceeds go towards home health and hospice care to families in need, along with other wellness services not covered by insurance.  Volunteers begin collecting donations at the rummage sale site a month prior to the sale date; people drive up with car and truckloads of items to donate!  The sale is organized into categories that are divided by tents.  For example, there is a tent for Kitchen items, a tent for boutique clothing items, a tent for sports equipment, etc.  They seriously get SO MANY items to sell!  The sale runs Friday to Sunday, and good thing, since it's almost impossible to go through everything in just one day!

This year I decided to take off of work to attend first thing Friday, aiming for the better selection of items.  I also ended up going later in the day on Saturday with my honey, and then returned Sunday with my mom and stepdad.  Each day was a different experience, with great finds along the way!

Inside the Boutique Clothing tent on Day 1.
MUD.  And it was just day one.
Chairs Chairs Chairs galore!
My honey, the undercover bookworm :)
Some helpful things to note about the sale, and some tips I think may be useful :)
  • The sale is rain or shine.  Seriously.  Friday was an absolutely miserable day: cold, windy, and downpour rainy. Saturday was the aftermath; even muddier than they before, damp and chilly.  None of this stopped anyone from coming out! Come prepared for whatever weather, and don't wear any shoes or clothing you don't want mud on!
  • If you're considering shopping for clothing for yourself, layer up!  Mirrors are hung up in clothing tents, so if you wear tight fitting lower layers, you have the ability to try on clothing before you purchase.  I wore skinny jeans and a cami every day, and simply layered thermals/fleece/my rain jacket on top.  Other women did the same, and some would even drop their pants to their ankles to get an idea if a skirt or dress really fit.  I shared a mirror with a lovely woman on Friday while trying on items; we ended up picking out items for each other and asking each other for opinions on what we were buying!
  • Keep your eyes peeled at all times.  Sometimes items get placed in a tent or location you wouldn't expect.  For example, there was a section of leather shoes, bags, and boots in the Vintage tent - I spotted a newer pair of Frye booties, and an Isabella Fiore handbag there, though I would think they would be in the Boutique Clothing tent.  
  • Save room for Sunday!  To clear as much of their inventory as possible, each tent has a different deal on the last day.  Tents with smaller items sometimes have fill-a-bag deals, where you can stuff a brown bag with whatever you can for $10 or $15.  Other tents are 50% off.  I made out like a bandit on Sunday!  
  • and related to those notes...don't hesitate to go through tents more than once!  You can easily overlook something and spot it the second time around.  It works out even better when you come across it on Sunday...that's how I came to own this Valentino blazer....for $25 :)

That's also how I got this chair for my little vanity table for $6 instead of $12!


I really made out like a bandit this sale!  Here are a few of my other favorite finds:

The cutest mid-century kitchen canisters; and they stack! Set of 3 for $12.
My haul from Boutique Clothing!  Highlights were the turquoise Tahari dress for $8 and the 90's does 50's floral dress for $5.
The VNA Rummage Sale is really something not to miss.  If you missed this fall's sale, join me in May for the spring edition!  I'll be sure to post reminders well in advance!

How have you been spending your fall?  Did you attend the rummage sale?  Anything else fun going on?  Let me know in the comments below!

Until the next adventure...xoxo, Bettie

9.16.2015

Saturday Shopping by the Sea: Ocean Grove's Fall Flea Market

 

It's been a while since I've posted; mainly because it's been a while since I've been on a shopping adventure!  After my summer vacations I decided it was time to do some pre-fall cleaning, which evolved into pre-fall painting, re-decorating, and purging stuff I didn't want anymore.  I came across the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and so far it has been life changing!  I've been a bit consumed by tidying lately, but since I've created tons of room for some new goodies, when my bestie Hailey (Splendor and Sierra) asked me to join her and her boyfriend Adam at the Ocean Grove Flea Market, I thought it was perfect timing.

The adorable town of Ocean Grove hosts the Flea Market twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall.  Almost 400 vendors participate; the Flea Market spans quite a few blocks from the Ocean Grove Grand Auditorium to the boardwalk.   This was my first time at the Flea Market, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  There is certainly a little bit of everything, and definitely something for everyone!


There's the standard flea market fare; cheap knockoff handbags, scarves, sunglasses, and of course a vendor selling socks!  However, I'd say the majority of the vendors were selling cool antiques and collectibles, which was exactly what we were looking for.  Hailey and Adam were in search of large vintage mason jars for their kitchen, and possibly a vintage 7-Up crate to match one they currently had.  I wasn't searching for anything in particular; just open to anything that may catch my eye!

Hailey and Adam ended up having a really successful day, finding everything they were looking for, and for good prices.  I was enjoying looking through everything, but didn't really see anything I loved enough to buy until almost the end of the market.  Hailey and I were perusing the tent of a vendor whose taste we loved; everything in the vendor's collection was perfectly curated, very feminine and sweet.  I was immediately drawn to a beautiful deco vanity tray she was selling.  It was in near perfect condition; it came with five glass containers, the middle one with a cute gold lid.  Something about it was so beautiful and unique; it had to be mine! 

After speaking with the seller, she initially wanted around $100 for it, but said that she could do as low as $75.  The piece was actually from Paris; she had recently found it on a trip to visit her daughter who lives there.  The tray was seriously perfect, and it was all the more impressive knowing that it made it across the Atlantic!  But....I wasn't planning on spending that much.  I walked away a few steps, but couldn't leave it behind!  After consulting with Adam and Hailey, I went back and bartered a bit more, settling on $65.  The piece was really one of a kind, and something I know I will treasure forever! 


Here are some other highlights from the flea market:

 PYREX. Can I have all of it?

Photo courtesy of Splendor and Sierra


Photo courtesy of Splendor and Sierra

It was a great day to end summer, with great friends, great weather, and great finds!

I'm still in the process of going through all of my clutter and tidying up; stay tuned for my review of the process in addition to new shopping adventures!

Until then...

xoxo, Bettie

8.20.2015

Consignment Pit-Stop: The Vested Interest

Two weeks ago as I was cruising home through Warren, NJ, a cute little store on the side of the road caught my eye.  I was in motion, so I only caught a glimpse, but what I clearly did see were the words Consignment Boutique, and a rack of clothes outside on the porch.  I did some research as soon as I got home, and learned that the boutique was The Vested Interest, a consignment shop that carries like-new items from stores such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomindgale's, and from high-end designers.  Conveniently I already had plans to be back in Warren the following week for a hair appointment, so I made certain to leave a little early for a quick pit-stop! 


The Vested Interest is on Mt. Bethel road, right off of Route 78, before you hit the main part of Warren at Mountain Avenue.  It's really easy to get to, just take note - Google Maps had me reaching the destination 1/4 mile after I was actually supposed to turn!  Luckily my shopping sixth-sense was in full force, so I recognized the shop and made the turn in time.

Walking into the store there was clearly a ton of merchandise.  Items are pretty well organized by clothing type; dresses, blouses, sleeveless, sweaters, jackets.  Shoes and bags have different sections throughout the store, including one full wardrobe/display case of each:

I was impressed by the pretty decent selection of formal evening wear and plus size clothing as well; those are two categories you don't see that much of.

There was a lot of higher-end designer clothing, such as Missoni, Prada, Kay Unger, and Trina Turk to name a few.  There was a special Lily Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines section for those on the preppy side.  The shop is definitely catered more towards a working woman, so no fast fashion brands like Forever 21 were in sight.  There were lots of really, really nice items; you can tell that the owners do not accept anything that isn't in like-new condition.  SO MUCH of the merchandise was still new with tags! 


Looking around initially I was impressed and intrigued by a lot of the merchandise, but not so much with their prices.  Everything seemed a bit more than I'd be willing to pay, even for used designer.  One Eddie Bauer t-shirt was marked $18 - there was no way I was paying that much for that!   I had been in the store about 15 minutes and had circled once already before the owner finally greeted me, and asked if I knew about the sale.  Um, what sale?  She pointed to a board behind the register I had totally missed - all items with a purple dot were 50% off, items with a blue dot were 30% off, and green dots were regular price. I quickly double checked a Missoni dress I had liked; it was $36.00, with a purple dot!  Okay, I thought, that changes everything! Time for a second go-around of the store!

The sale really changed the game for me price-wise; things were much more reasonable and were more steals than not.   I went into the dressing room with about 10 items; some notable ones were the Missoni dress I mentioned above, a Calvin Klein khaki shirt dress, and an adorable Lily Pulitzer cardigan.  I loved a lot of the items, but decided to restrain myself.  I ended up coming home with these cute woven oxfords by Hinge:


They normally are around $100, and I got them for $25.

Overall, I think the sale prices really make The Vested Interest a place to stop by.  The owners keep a really great selection of clothing, especially if you're into higher-end designers.  I think I'll definitely be stopping by in the fall for basic sweaters and shirts.

As a side note, before stopping into a shop I always check the internet for reviews to give me an idea of what people are saying beforehand.  I could only find one review of The Vested Interest, which stated that the owner was unpleasant.  After my experience I wouldn't use that term - the owner I spoke with, who co-owns with her mother, was fairly pleasant once I started talking to her.  I wasn't greeted right away, which would have definitely helped with my understanding of the sale, but I didn't feel that the owner was nasty or hard to deal with at all.  Let's just say I've dealt with much worse!  If you plan on stopping by, just keep an eye out for the sale sign behind the register as soon as you start shopping.

Today actually happens to be my birthday, (whee!), and as part of my celebration I asked my honey to accompany me on some bargain adventures this weekend.  I can't wait to report back with what we find!

Until next time,

xoxo, Bettie


8.17.2015

Happy National Thrift Shop Day!


Unbeknownst to me, today is one of the greatest "holidays" of the year: National Thrift Shop Day!  I've been seeing great deals advertised by thrift and vintage stores all over social media to celebrate.  Unfortunately I'm confined to my cubicle today, and have a painting-the-walls date with my bedroom later, so I'm not going to be able to participate in any of the fun!  Let me know if you make any great finds today - Happy Thrifting loves!

xoxo, Bettie
 

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