Thrifting has undergone a transformation in recent years. Something that was once viewed as a hobby for old ladies and as a bargain for people who needed assistance, has now become trendy. Bubbly high school girls are rolling up to the doors of Goodwill in droves, searching for the perfect pair of Mom Jeans and oversized Ralph Lauren polo that they can turn into a crop top. Popular stores like Urban Outfitters have been selling “redone” articles of clothing on their site for quite some time, and at a hefty price tag. These up-cycled pieces have become trendy, and once outdated styles are now back in vogue. A quick search of “thrift haul” on YouTube will produce thousands of hits. Thrifting has become the new outlet mall.
Aside from keeping up with the latest shopping trend, thrift shopping produces a slew of benefits. Shopping secondhand is not only great for your wallet, but also for the environment. I recently watched the documentary The True Cost on Netflix; this documentary opened my eyes to staggering statistics about the global fashion industry, and its impact on the environment.
Thrifting is not a solution to this global issue, but if more individuals began consuming fashion more consciously, and holding manufacturers to a higher standard, the environmental impact of the garment industry could be reduced. When I thrift, I know that I’m not giving money to companies who do not take human life or environmental impact seriously. I know that I am saving money, and in many cases, the thrift store that I am shopping in is using the money I’ve given them for the community or job training. I also know that the pieces in my wardrobe are unique, and that makes them feel special.
It isn’t a secret that we live in a consumerist culture. We are ravenous when it comes to acquiring. Perhaps on some levels, we don’t even care what we are consuming as long as it is “new.” But this appetite is anything but new, it’s been years in the making, and carefully crafted by companies who want your time and your money. The world around us is curated to make us desire more. Commercials, billboards, storefronts, Instagram #ad #sponsored posts, YouTube fashion bloggers hauling the latest and greatest clothing items, all of these things bombard us daily, and a lot of the time we don’t even notice. It’s become second nature to walk around in a snow globe of advertising. While the companies producing these adverts are staying warm with all of our hard-earned money, we are left out in the cold, penniless, and still feeling inadequate.
This isn’t about pointing fingers, or us versus them, it’s about looking at ourselves and our habits and trying to understand why it’s so easy to get caught up in the storm. According to Red Crow Marketing Inc. the average American encounters up to 4,000 advertisements a day, and that figure is from 2015. There is a such thing as retail therapy. Numerous psychological studies have been conducted and found direct correlations in shopping and mood. It is common to want new thing when we are feeling depressed, or to want to splurge when we get good news. But just because these actions are common, they are not necessarily healthy. In my opinion, shopping in order to suppress or prolong feelings is detrimental to our physical and mental health.
Ahhh Christmas, my favorite holiday of all time. Something about this time of the year just feels magical. I think it has a lot to do with growing up with a mother who loved making the holidays special for my sister and myself. I have so many memories of anxiously waiting for my dad to lug all of the overloaded Christmas totes out of the basement and up into the living room. With fingers covered in glitter, and stray pieces of tinsel strewn about the room, my mom, my sister, and I would dig out all of our favorite holiday decorations, and admire them as if we were seeing them for the very first time.
Mariah Carey would serenade our Christmas decorating sessions, and we would assault the eardrums of everyone within a fifty mile radius attempting to recreate her famous falsetto. This feeling of togetherness and tradition is something that I have held onto well into adulthood, even as I embark on creating my own holiday traditions. I've always enjoyed DIY projects; I think I have the opposite of ADHD, I can channel my attention far too intently into projects, and come out the other side completely confused as to how I just spent 14 hours making pompom garlands (guilty of this literally two weeks ago).
There is a sense of accomplishment that comes from creating something yourself. To decorate the very first Christmas tree of my own, I wanted to make the majority of the ornaments. I love minimal Scandinavian style, and I think these simple clay holiday ornaments add a touch of class and personalization to any tree. These ornaments are simple to make, relatively inexpensive, and they are perfect to do with a group of friends or with your children.
In the age of Kardashians posing with bright blue gummy bear vitamins, in an attempt to get you to shell out $30 a month on over-hyped sugar pills, and Gwyneth Paltrow urging you to shove a $66 jade egg into your vagina to balance your hormones and awaken your sexual energy, it only makes sense that Juice Cleanses are now a $5 Billion dollar industry. These holy grail juice cleanses are praised by kale crunching celebs and suburban soccer moms alike. What is all the hype about? Drinking cold pressed fruits and veggies for anywhere from 3 days to multiple weeks at a time, claims to carry with it the benefits of detoxifying the body, aiding in weight-loss, and hell, some of them even claim they will get you closer to God. I have never been someone who jumps on the latest trend bandwagon, but after a couple of weeks of eating poorly, sleeping poorly, and feeling overall rundown, the magic juice elixir was calling my name. So, in an attempt to hit the reset button on my diet, I decided to embark on a three day juice cleanse to settle this once and for all. My partner, Kyle, also agreed to undergo this spiritual colon cleanse alongside me.
Now, I think it is worth noting that both Kyle and myself are relatively healthy individuals to begin with. He trains Mixed Martial Arts several times a week, and up until an unfortunate injury a few months ago, was training for the Honolulu Marathon. I practice Yoga and Pilates several times a week, and focus quite intently on eating a balanced, predominately plant-based diet. So, we were entering the juice cleanse with a pretty nice head start on some of the average juice cleanse participants. Kyle weighs himself almost daily, so the day before the cleanse he weighed himself in an attempt to see if the weight-loss claims had any merit. I never weigh myself, I try to be more intuitive about my overall health based on my complexion, energy levels, and how much give I have in my blue jeans. I took a long hard look at myself in the mirror the day before I started the cleanse and got a baseline idea of how I looked and felt.
We decided to purchase the 3-Day cleanse series from our local Clean Juice.
Initial blog posts are always a little tricky; how much info is too much? Too little? Do I include my entire life story? Or stick to the basics? Is this anecdote too personal? Am I making myself seem like an A.I.? There are so many things I could share about myself, and my journey up to the moment that I'm sitting behind my laptop typing these words. I will spare you dull details, and try to get to the marrow of things. Essentially, I'm starting this site as a way to keep myself accountable. This site is my blog, resume, and passion-project. I want to pursue a career in freelance writing, while also giving myself a creative outlet.
I chose the name "caffeinated haze" as my moniker years ago, because I am someone who loves caffeine in all its incarnations, and because I have always felt a bit hazy when it comes to what I am meant to do with my life, the path I should take, the endeavors I should pursue. I love so many different things, there never feels like there is enough time to do everything I want to. So, I'm starting out small and blending my love of three things: writing, fashion, and the environment.
All my life, I have been extremely passionate about fashion. I remember being ten years old, sitting in my bedroom floor, cutting up Vogue magazines to create little look-books in my spiral-bound notebooks. I would also sketch one-of-a-kind designs into those pages, and create logo ideas for my debut line. I was in deep. In those early years, I thought that looking fashionable had to come at a price, financially and physically (but we can get into mental health and eating disorders in the future). All through grade school I wished I could shop in the trendy mall stores that all of my friends and the popular kids at school frequented. Much to my dismay, I grew up pretty freaking poor, and mall boutiques were out of the question. I bought my Jordache jeans begrudgingly from WalMart, and had a lot of resentment towards my parents for not making enough money so that I could wear Abercrombie jeans. I would always try to style my discounted clothing in unique ways, and buy pieces that looked higher end, or original. I believe this is when I started to develop my personal style, but I was still too self-conscious to really embrace my style.