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As soon as the weather starts to turn nice here in Minnesota, it happens. Garage sale signs start popping up everywhere - and I am here for it! Often times when I'm at a garage sale, people will comment about their sale not having anything good. Have you ever heard the saying "one man's junk is another man's treasure"? I am always finding items at garage sales. From clothing to housewares, you would be amazed the items you come across.


I hit a fair amount of garage sales in 2020. At one sale I picked up nine Barbie Dolls... all in the original boxes. I picked up those Barbies for $10 each and flipped them on ebay for ... a lot more then the $90 I spent. Flipping items is fun, but most of the time I end up purchasing items for me and my family. Here are just a few of the things I found last year:


Gold-dipped leaf pendant

Chanel skirt

Denim Jacket

Coach scarf

Ralph Lauren Camo Shirt

Abercrombie Sweatshirts

Vintage Beer Mugs

Exercise Equipment

Fox Racing Clothes

Redwing pottery

Christmas Decore

... Even my teenage boys favoite Busch Sweatshirt!


So on to my garage sale plans for this year. These pictures show just a few of the items I picked up today. Yes - I hit multiple sales. Sometimes I do leave empty handed, but most of the time I find something worth my while. Today on the blog I'm sharing what's on my garage sale list for 2021.



The crazy thing about the garage sales I hit today, is that many of the items I found are actually items I look for. First, let's talk vessel's / vases. Today I was lucky enough to find a piece of Redwing pottery in perfect condition for $5. I'm always on the lookout for Redwing and Roseville pieces at garage sale prices. This year I hit one sale with a cute Redwing vase priced at over $80. Hard pass. The deals are out there... you just have to look and be patient. Last year I also found a piece of Redwing pottery - super dusty in a box at a barn sale. I bought that piece for $3... it's so darling in my living room.


Another item I'm always on the lookout for is silverware. Honestly - you can never have enough silverware! In my basement I actually have small storage boxes each labled with 'dinner forks', 'salad forks', 'knives', 'spoons', and 'serving ware'. When we host parties, I use mismatched place settings wrapped in either cloth or paper napkins. Not only is it cute, but if silverware goes missing (from eating outdoors or accidentally thrown away), I don't stress. I have a never ending supply (thanks to my favorite pastime)! Today I picked up a decent size box full of mismatched silverware and I paid $4. Just think about how much you invest in plasticware for parties. My $4 investment isn't all that bad.

Next is gift wrap. With the exception of Christmas wrap, I rarely purchase my gift wrap in stores. I find ribbon, wrapping paper, tissue paper, and present toppers at garage sales every year. And the best part is, most of the time the items are vintage. Besides gift wrap, I'm also always on the search for vintage cards. Sometimes I will send out the cards as is... other times I'll remake them into new cards. I even scrapbook with them... because that's just how I roll! Today I found an entire box of unused vintage cards for 75 cents! That is a crazy amazing deal! Honestly - I probably would have spent $4 on that box of cards... but I'll totally take it for under $1!



Lastly I picked up a box of polished rocks. They were actually on a ceramic tray, but I asked the woman if I could purchase only the rocks. Pretty sure she thought I was crazy, but I gladly took them off her hands for $2. She asked me - what are you going to do with all these rocks? Vase fillers! For example, I've taken Potterybarn small faux potted succulents and clustered them in a bowl... I add rocks around the pots to keep them grounded. I keep a box of rocks in my basement for decorating purposes... centerpieces, candles, ... there are honestly so many uses for polished rocks.


Other items I'll be on the lookout for this year while I garage sale:

Clothes for my teenage boys - some of their most worn pieces I actually find in free boxes.


Clothes for myself - As I mentioned, I've picked up everything from Chanel to Abercrombie!


Vintage Christmas, Easter, and Halloween decorations.. it's so fun to place these unique items out on display.


Gold and designer jewelry - My best friend's sister found a David Yurman ring. Total goals!


Skylanders, Disney Infinity characters, disney cars, Ertyl die cast toys - Always check those free boxes and random boxes of toys. These items are out there and usually super cheap.


Weights - because they are expensive, they never go out of style, and they are usually priced dirt cheap.


I hope I've inspired you to check out some garage sales this summer. Always go with an open mind because you truly never know what you're going to find!


Remember to check out my Instagram @smalltownme


Love Emily.





















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Hightops are back and they are so incredibly easy to style. Whatever dress I'm wearing... short or long... shorts or bikers... dressed up or dressed down... I have been wearing my hightops on repeat since I purchased them. My go-to pair (linked here) has a zip side which I love! First is the ease of putting them on. No need to unlace... they just slip on and I'm out the door. Also - I only zip my hightops up half way for a more easy effortless look. Seriously, you are going to want to add a pair of these trendy sneakers to your summer wardrobe. Get ready to be inspired!



Summer is here and I know we all are about the cute sandals. Just don't forget about styling up those summer looks with a cute pair of hightops. There is something fresh about a classic white pair of sneakers with a cute sundress. Don't let the higher cut of these hightops scare you - wear them just as you would your trendy sneakers. Throw them on with your favorite sundress for outdoor events, grad parties, and just running around. I love the ease of just having a pair of sneakers on my feet - I feel like I have no limitations. There's nothing worse then showing up to an event only to realize you're going to be trekking through the lawn in heels. Adding sneakers to your dress brings on such a cool effortless vibe.


And absolutely reach for those high tops when wearing your longer summer dresses. My rule of thumb... make sure your dress hits no further down then your ankle. Showing a little skin breaks up your outfit and give you more of a summer vibe. Also, don't be afraid of mixing hightop sneakers with a dressier outfit. Here, my sundress and leather bag are dressy enough to wear at a summer wedding. But then I added my white hightop sneakers and this brought my look from formal to laidback. Also, I'm keeping my hightops unzipped half way - because I'm all about a casual vibe. Unexpected and effortlessly cool. Plus - I feel so comfortable!

Hightop sneakers also are so cute styled with shorts. Whether you're styling cutoff denim shorts or even bikers, hightop sneakers will add the perfect amount of interest to your outfit. Here, I'm wearing my hightops with a sweater vest, leather blazer, and bikers. My blazer and handbag have a polished look to them, but by adding my biker shorts and hightops, I bring on a casual vibe. Try styling these sneakers with bikers and an oversized graphic t, sweatshirt, or denim jacket. You will be amazed at how often you reach for these shoes.


Wearing denim shorts... reach for your hightops for the ultimate casual uniform. Here I am literally wearing a pair of frayed denim shorts with an untucked graphic T and a utility jacket. Running errands... heading to the park... maybe even hitting a garage sale or two. These sneakers make my ordinary outfit look and feel on trend.



Here my outfit is polished... dressy skirt, sweater, and bag. I added my hightop sneakers, keeping that zipper half-way zipped, and my outfit is still dressy and polished... but with a casual vibe. Try styling these trendy sneakers in unexpected ways. You'll be wearing them on repeat all summer long!


Happy styling!


Remember to check out my Instagram @smalltownme


Love Emily.






















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Here's the deal. I don't think you can ever have too many jean shorts. Really. I have a stack in my closet - and they are all different! Shocking, right? Different washes... different amounts of distressing... different lengths... and just plain different details. From around April through October my demin shorts make appearances weekly... sometimes even daily. And if you're in a warmer climate then Minnesota, you are probably reaching for your denim shorts year round - and I'm jealous! Finding that perfect pair that fits you like a glove gives your outfit such an effortless vibe. Plus - they just plain feel good. There are limitless ways to style denim shorts - from ultra casual to dressy. Today on the blog I'm giving you ideas to get even more mileage out of your denim shorts this summer. Get ready to be inspired!






First of all, thank's to the fashion trends of 2021, you can find denim shorts in practically every rise known to man. The versatility of being able to choose how high you want to wear your cut-offs is everything. Crop tops are no longer awkward. Pairing a cute cropped tshirt or sweatshirt with a pair of high rise shorts gives off the perfect casual vibe. And if you have a tshirt you want to tuck in, the high-rise still works. Here, I added a crossbody bag to play with the waistline of my shorts. Super flattering, and it adds just enough interest to my basic white tee and cut-offs.




For a lower rise denim short, try throwing on your favorite tshirt and adding a front tuck. This is honestly one of my summer go-to's for running around and just hanging out. It's such a comfortable look and will probably never go out of style.


Another option for those low rise (or ultra short) shorts... swimsuit coverup! Whether you're rocking a bikini this summer or a cute one-piece, wearing denim shorts as your coverup is easy and plan-proof! I tend to reach for my shorts as a coverup when I'm heading to the cabin or on a boat... you never know where the day is going to take you. Grocery store for a quick food run... a restaurant or bar on the lake... or stopping by a friends cabin by boat just to say hi. My cut-offs have had my back on more then one occasion.


One more styling hack I've done with my ultra-short shorts, is wearing them under a dress that may be borderline too short. I've done this more then once, and it always works out to my benefit... Whether it's a sudden gust of wind that blows my dress up, or it's just me sitting down only to realize my dress appears WAY shorter then I remember (sadly true)... the peek-a-boo of frayed shorts under my dress looks planned and a little chic.


Finally, it is so easy to dress up your favorite denim shorts! Adding the right accessories can elevate your look from 'errands' to 'date night'. Try adding a statement necklace to instantly elevate your denim. Or switch out your shoes to a cute pair of platform sandals and pair with a statement bag. Adding just a little feminine detail can bring your look from cute to chic.


When styling my shorts with a dressier shoe option, I like to reach for a cute platform or wedge. This is not the time to bust out those stilettos - I'm just saying. If you want to wear a heel, try a block heel or low to mid-high sandal. A little heel will really accentuate the curves on your legs... but too much heel can bring on a trashy vibe. My rule of thumb - if I'm questioning whether my shoes are too high or not, I change my shoes. Always be comfortable and authentic to your style.






Start looking at your denim shorts with an open mind. There are literally so many cute ways to style them. If you have a cute top you're dying to wear, try it with a pair of denim cut-offs. And it the cut doesn't look quite right, try on another pair of shorts! There have been days were I have literally changed my shorts four different times before finding a pair that works. It is what it is. Seriously - there are countless styles out there and they all bring a little something different to your outfit. Happy styling!


Remember to check out my Instagram @smalltownme


Love Emily.





















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