Last year was an, um, interesting one for me, job-wise. This time last year, I decided it was time to move on from the job I’d had (and mostly loved) for almost five years and took a new job, fully intent on it being a step up/forward. I’ll spare you the details, but that job switch turned into some kind of mini mid-life crisis, and I subsequently quit that job, started my own business, took another job, quit that job, and now am on my FOURTH job in a year. Yikes. Suffice it to say it’s been a learning experience; also suffice it to say that I already have an appointment with a career counselor booked for mid-January, so I can try to figure out how to get my career back on track.
The upside of this job craziness has been that I work in Bethesda now. If you live in Maryland, you know what Bethesda is; if you don’t, it’s a ritzy/yuppie suburb filled with good restaurants and cute stores. A somewhat hellish commute from Olney, and you have to pay for parking which sucks, but there are lots of lunch options. And, to my surprise, as it’s mostly home to pricey boutiques, lots of bargains to be found.
There are two great furniture consignment stores (well, possibly more, but I frequent two of them) and a bunch of clothing consignment/thrift stores. A lot of the stuff in these stores is no great bargain, but I’ve managed to find a ton of great bargains on my lunch hour over the course of this year. Here are my top five scores from 2013:
- Botanical prints for $30 each–top right in the photo above, I saw these three prints at Gallery St. Elmo for $30 each. I had been looking for something to go behind my family room sofa and knew they would be perfect. They’re even more perfect when I just saw almost the exact same prints in the Ballard catalog for $139 each!
- Staffordshire figurine for $5–top left in photo, see that cute little figurine with the girl and the weird-ish dog? I saw it on a bargain table at Capital Consignment for $5 I was like “that is so cute–it looks like Staffordshire” and bought it. Later I looked at the bottom and it IS Staffordshire. My husband hates it, but I love it and think it looks like it cost WAY more than $5!
- J.Crew cashmere sweater for $30–this isn’t in the photo, but it is real and it is amazing. It’s a tan 100% cashmere sweater from J.Crew that I got for $30 at my favorite store, the Mustard Seed. If you live or work in Bethesda and aren’t going in there regularly to check for bargains, you are definitely missing out.
- J.McLaughlin shirt for $10–I’m obsessed with J.McLaughlin, which does have a shop in Bethesda, but with shirts costing $155, all I can do is look. I almost fell over when I found the equestrian print wrap shirt in the bottom left of the photo above, in perfect condition, for $10 at the Mustard Seed.
- J.McLaughlin jacket–new with tags–for $38 (tag still attached with original price of $395!!)–this jacket was like the holy grail of bargains, also from the Mustard Seed. This is a horrible photo and doesn’t do the jacket justice at all, but it does show the cute elbow patches. LOVE this jacket!
Happy bargain hunting in 2014!