The WHY Behind the Thrift: Earth Day Edition

Let me just spit some facts and figures at you for a minute because today, like everyday, we could use a reminder to be conscious of our footprint.

  • It takes 1,800 gallons of water to make one pair of jeans according to Penn State.
  • Billions of dollars in unsold merchandise is incinerated or destroyed by brands every year to maintain brand exclusivity.
  • The average American throws away 80 pounds of clothing per year per person. Of those, nearly 100% are recyclable.
  • According to Recycle Nation – 28 Billion pounds of textiles are piled into landfills each year.
  • Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world.

We have a problem that we’re all guilty of and we can all take small steps to do better. Will you join me?

Buy less: Fast fashion tells us to hop on trends that are gone in the blink of an eye. We buy more, wear it once, then buy more and more and more.

Buy smart: Choose retailers who recycle unused clothing, not burn or destroy it. Now listen, I’m not here to throw brands under the bus but do your research before you buy that’s all I’m sayin.

Donate: Recycle your unwanted clothes by donating them. DON’T throw them away. Someone can use them or they can be recycled.

Rent: Companies like Rent the Runway are changing the game with fashion. You mean I can rent clothes and return them so someone else can do the same? Sign me up.

Shop secondhand: I am biased because I am a stone cold thrifter. But the benefits of thrifting go beyond saving a buck. Don’t want to go to your local thrift store? Guess what, you can shop second hand online (Poshmark, ThredUp, Relovv, Depop). No human interaction required.

My Thrifting Secrets

I started my first thrift shop fashion blog in 2014 called Three Dollar Fashion. I loved finding a good deal and I loved styling my finds and made my roommate take pictures of me in our dorm room. Most of all, it allowed me to take a lot of pride in what I wear. I felt like I was hunting for treasure.

One of the questions I get the most is “How do you find such cute pieces…I can never find ANYTHING when I go thrifting!” So…I’m here to spill the beans about my thrift game plan and some pro tips to get the most out of your thrift adventure.

First, I get inspired. I go in with an idea of some of the things I’m looking for. Pinterest and instagram are both great resources to get outfit inspo.

Then, I head in with a plan. Stake out the territory. I’ve found my rhythm. So I usually start with dresses and blazers, head to shoes and accessories, then skirts, and finally blouses and pants. Think of it like going easiest to hardest. I can usually win big with dresses where jeans are the hardest for me to thrift. I don’t want to get discouraged right off the bat.

Then, I start the strategic hunt. Instead of sifting through the endless racks one by one: I keep an eye out for things that’ll instantly stick out.

  1. Color – If its bold, I want it.
  2. Patterns – Polka dots, stripes, florals. All of these things are easy to spot in the endless sea.
  3. Basics – There are always things you’ll be able to find at a thrift store. Plain Tee’s, simple cardigans, tanks etc.

My next biggest tip is try EVERYTHING on. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pleasantly surprised in the fitting room. I learned so much about what works and what doesn’t work for my body. I used to buy everything that was cute and that fit me. The question I ask myself now is “Is this a hell yes?” If I wouldn’t be sad leaving it, it stays. No need for it to hang out in my closet.

I’m based in Mad City so to round out my thrift toolkit, here are my favorite places to thrift in Madison.

St. Vincent DePaul on Willy St.

St. Vincent DePaul in Stoughton

Goodwill on Verona Rd

ReThreads on State St.

My Basement Studio Space

If you’re looking for a crispy white Pinerest worthy studio space that’s perfectly organized with an abundance of gorgeous natural daylight, you’ve come to the wrong place. If you’re looking for real life, nitty gritty, true hustler life, THAT I can do for you.

My studio spaces have evolved over the years from bins under my bed in my dorm room to a spare bedroom in my parents basement to a corner space in my tiny loft apartment. That being said, I’ve also picked up several new hobbies over the last couple of years including sewing, scrapbooking, and of course pom earrings so my arsenal of craft crap is halfway to crazy.

So when we moved to the Primary House I was a little nervous about where I’d be able to put everything. Like everything else that didn’t have a place anywhere else in the house (including extra clothes and workout equipment) it found a home in the basement. Cement walls and all. While it’s not the most glamorous space in the world, it’s where all the magic happens – lookin at you atomic poms.

My desk is a folding plastic table, not a crisp write Anthropologie find. My chair is not a pink velvet midcentury beauty, it’s a $10 folding chair from Target. But, the best things started in unlikely places like this. Amazon, Google, Vera Bradley, Mattel, and Disney all started in a garage. This is my beginning and it’ll be a great story to tell. Until then, the cement cellar I go!

Grab your very own pair of atomic poms here. Sign up for my newsletter and get 20% off your purchase!

18 Things I Learned in 2018

2018 has been one hell of a year, let me tell you. It has pushed me outside of my comfort zone in ways I couldn’t even imagine. On NYE last year, I sat at a bar in downtown Milwaukee with some friends and thought about what I’d like to accomplish for the year. I was still living with my parents and at a job that was eating me alive. I felt drained creatively and absolutely positively stuck. I looked at Jake and I said, “If we’re still where we are this time next year, we’ve got some major issues.” So we made the change and created a year full of changes and and teeing up for our best year yet. Its been “End of an Era” and “Out with the old in with the new” year. Here’s 18 things I’ve learned in 2018…

  1. You’re not stuck. If you’re unhappy, make a change. F*** what people think.
  2. Invest in your creativity and self love above everything else.
  3. Living alone will teach you more about yourself than you ever imagined.
  4. Comparison is the most toxic chemical. Period.
  5. Talk about your mental health – I can’t stress this enough.
  6. Quitting a job is the most terrifying and liberating thing in the world.
  7. I can’t do diets or workout plans. Been there, tried that. F*** it.
  8. If your squad isn’t on your same frequency, you need a new squad.
  9. If you don’t ask, the answer is always “NO”
  10. If it’s not a “Hell YES” it’s a “NO”
  11. It’s OK to dish a big unapologetic “NO” if your plate is too full.
  12. Money comes and goes. Pay your bills. Get shit done. Period.
  13. Set aside time to be creative or you will never have time to be creative.
  14. Send more handwritten Thank You cards.
  15. Call your mom – and other people you love for that matter.
  16. The only way to get through loss is to feel your way through it.
  17. Do something everyday that scares you. – Thank you Eleanore Roosevelt.
  18. Never stop hustling. At the end of the day you’re all you’ve got. Push yourself to reach your potential.

Now…for 2019. Bring it on. My montra “Have grace with yourself” because I’m not perfect. I read this amazing quote on Pinterest- “Grace works best on messy people.” The pressure to be perfect is real. Sh*t is gonna hit the fan and that’s ok. I’m gonna mess up and that’s ok too. Get ready for the most pomTASTIC, authentic, and colorful year yet. 2019, I am READY for you!

NYC Weekend Getaway Guide

Start spreading the news…

I’ve been in NYC during every season except Christmas time. Needless to say Rockefellar tree, ice skating, Rockettes Christmas Specktacular, Sacs Light show, I wanted it all. So when I had vacation time to use, we decided to take our first trip together to NYC since I know my way around. Unfortunately, a week before our trip we had to adjust and reschedule our flight so we could attend a funeral. We also had to adjust to a rain soaked Sunday. But we still packed the weekend and checked some things off of our bucket list!

Saturday – The must do NYC staples.

You HAVE to see a show while in NYC. I don’t care if it’s a comedy show, off broadway, or on broadway… go see a show. This time, we saw Kinky Boots and let me tell you this show did not disappoint! We then took the opportunity after the show to do some NYC staples.

  • Times Square
  • Rockefeller tree
  • Sacs Fifth Ave Light Show

Sunday Rain check…It rained ALL DAY.

Sunday was our only full day in the city so we had big plans. But when the rain came rolling in, we needed to make some decisions.

  • Brunch with Madelyn
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Williamsburg hangz – bring on the Chipotle and “What do you Meme”

Mondays are for photoshoots

Brooklyn Bridge – We got there at 7:40 a.m. to try to avoid people. This has been a bucket list item forever and I am so damn jazzed about these pics. Cheers to the best instaboyfriend there ever was. Don’t worry! We shot some pics for his blog too. Check it out!

Washington Square Park – When I lived in NYC I spent a lot of time here so it was important for me to snag some pictures here. Of course, I had to include the best series of photos that happened from this trip while getting dive bombed by pigeons. This photo sequences is one of my all time favorites.

Color Factory – This was one of the highlights of our trip. Jake and I both loved how interactive and fun this was! I would add this to my “must do” list in NYC.

Can’t forget the outfit staple…the POM. Of course I packed a bunch for our trip. You can get yours on my Etsy page HERE.

Our favorite vegan eats:

I am not vegan but Jake is, so when wandering around NYC we needed to find places that were vegan friendly but also delicious. Check out his blog for more on how he traveled for the first time as a vegan!

Things you don’t know you’ll need when heading to NYC:

  • Dr. Schollz shoe inserts. These saved my feet when my dogs were barking.
  • Blister bandaids. I don’t travel anywhere without these anymore.
  • Small travel umbrella because you just never know.
  • Dramamine – Between flights and uber drives, I get super motion sick. I love traveling with this stuff just in case.
  • Venmo – I thought this was a “duh” but apparently Jake didn’t get the memo. It’s so helpful especially when you’re trying to keep things equal.

Things I learned traveling for the first time with Jake

  • I’m an asshole in the morning before coffee. (Sorry babe.)
  • Express your frustrations and your excitement and talk them out.
  • Ask if he’s hungry every hour and pack snacks.
  • I love traveling with an Eagle Scout. He packs like a tetris master and quickly adapts to his surroundings so we ALWAYS knew where we were between the two of us.
  • His patience balances me when I am unnecessarily anxious and frustrated. Thank god.


It’s Hey Allie’s FIRST BIRTHDAY!

“Go shorty…it’s ya birthday…!”

Holy Cow. Thank goodness for Facebook memories or I wouldn’t have known…one year ago I launched Hey Allie!

Let’s kick it off with a true #TBT…I started my blogging journey in high school when my dad helped me launch my thrift shop fashion blog, Three Dollar Fashion. Through college, I made my roommate shoot content in my tiny, dark dorm room on my cell phone. After my passion for that blog dwindled, I lost interest in blogging completely until after I graduated college.

To be frank, I totally stumbled upon the name “Hey Allie”. I’d been toying with the idea of relaunching a blog and was searching through available domain names and heyallie.com was available! I fell in love with it and thoughts of a brand swirled in my head. Little did I know, Hey Allie would allow me to morph into my truest, most authentic self. I didn’t meet my goal of blogging once a week….in fact…not even close. But I wouldn’t trade it for the incredible ladies I’ve connected with over the last year who truly inspire me everyday.

All of this to say…from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for supporting my little nebula brand. Thank you for following me, purchasing atomic pom earrings, liking my instagram posts, reaching out, and loving on me. I truly cannot wait for what’s to come on this journey. You can expect a ton of quirk and poms to come…buckle up buttercup. 

To celebrate Hey Allie’s First Birthday, enjoy FREE shipping and 10% off Etsy orders for the next week with code GOSHORTY

Video by Jacob Kujawa!

5 Things We’ve Learned From a Long Distance Relationship

I didn’t believe in love at first sight until he walked into comm class with this longboard and worn out Bon Jovi T-shirt. I was the creepy secret admirer crushing hard in the back of the class and trying to keep it suave. Months later, he asked me to do a watercolor portrait as a gift for his mom and boom, I had the “in”. It took about a year of figuring out how we’d make the distance work before finally making it official. Now fast forward two years and it’s safe to say we’ve learned a thing or two.

 

They say “distance makes the heart grow fonder” and while that is true, distance also makes the heart grow sick and effing tired. Let me tell you, we’ve learned a lot about making this work over the last two years and it has not been easy. As we celebrate our second anniversary, I wanted to reflect on 5 things we’ve learned from being in a long distance relationship.

 

Communication is everything – Yep…super cliche. You hear it all the time. But be honest and vulnerable at always. Having a bad day? Tell them. Oh…and don’t text an argument. Read that again. You want to post up and fight about something? Call or facetime immediately and talk it out.

 

Make Plans – You both need something to look forward to. Visits, trips, and weekend getaways make the distance easier to digest. Create timelines. Work through future plans and most importantly, figure out a plan of attack of when and how you’d like to be in the same place.

 

Be honest about your love languages – Physical connection is obviously out of the equation here. So how can you love someone from a distance? Surprise date nights. Letters. Care packages. Send surprise flowers. Phone calls. Send periodic selfies, stupid memes or even a song that makes you think of them. Sometimes it’s the little things.

 

Stop comparing your relationship – This will sink your ship faster than you can blink. You’ve got friends that are living together? Know people that are planning their wedding? Everyone on your facebook feed getting engaged? Great. You’ve got your own empire to build. Your time will come. Be patient. This one gets me every. Damn. Time.

 

Be honest about the future – It goes without question. If you’re not driving on the same street you might as well turn around and go the other way. If commitment freaks you out, be open to having the conversation about it. What are your biggest fears looking ahead 5, 10, 20, or 30 years? You don’t have to talk about what you’ll name your kids. As a team, talk through where you’d like to be physically, financially, and emotionally. Be open and honest about what you’re truly afraid of no matter how silly you think it is. Its most important to face these fears together as a unit and not on two separate islands. 

Jake, thank you for going on this journey with me. The thousands of miles on the road, too much money on tolls, and hours driving are worth it. You are my safe place and my oasis. The water to my fire and my favorite thing to look forward to.

 

Photography by Anna Marie Photography! Visit her site! This girl is a ray of sunshine and truly captures the most beautiful moments.

 

Authentically YOU

Dear You,

I know you’re struggling to find what is “authentically you.” You’re probably feeling lost. Maybe you’re feeling like there’s no way you could ever stand out in this overwhelming crowd of perfection.You could be feeling like you don’t know what you’re called to do. I know you’re feeling like you can’t figure out who you really are through all the noise. I know you don’t know what your next steps should be. You find yourself reading quotes on Pinterest like “Just be yourself.” But you’re like…ok but how though?!  

I also know you’re not alone. Because…ME TOO.

This season has brought on a lot of trials, questions, tears, and triumph. I’ve had to unpack and refocus to figure out who I really am at my core and what makes me happy. Am I ready to write down an elevator pitch of who I am? Nah…not yet. But I can tell you I’m working through it and finding my way through the noise.

First, I wanted to get down to the basics and build a foundation. This is not a quick process. Nor is it an easy or sparkly process. But these are the things that have helped ground me in what makes me who I am.

 

People: You are a product of the 5 people you surround yourself with. Who makes you feel creative, loved, and important? Who fills your cup? When you leave a conversation, do you feel drained or did they breathe light into you? Who supports you no matter what season you’re in? Who understands your greatness and pushes you to be your greatest self? Make a list of those people. That is your support squad. Mom, Jake, Corissa, Masy, Anna, Marissa. I love you.

 

Places: Think of a safe place. This could be a place you’ve traveled to, a place that comes to you in your dreams, or a place you’ve never been before. Where do you feel at peace? That is your safe space. When you’re feeling lost, take your mind back there to rest. You owe yourself rest. My safe place? The guest bedroom in my grandparents house. It’s a cloud bed with a beautiful linen smell.

 

Things: I don’t mean material things. Make a list of things that make you happiest. I don’t are what it is. The smell of rain, a show on netflix, someone’s laugh, or your favorite colors. Make a list. There is a reason these things make you happy. I keep lists on my phone and in a physical moleskin journal that I carry with me. I also collect things that make me happy on Pinterest and instagram archives to keep me inspired. It sounds silly but I will scroll through those things as reminder of the lens at which I see the world. You will start to see a pattern. This is not an accident.

 

Keep pushing through this journey of being authentically you because the world needs you. But most importantly remember you’re not alone.