Favorite Thrift Stores in Des Moines

Like many college students, one of the absolute greatest joys is buying new clothes, and thrifting is an affordable and sustainable way to do so! Thrifting is much better for the environment than buying clothes that are brand new. Plus, you can find some really unique or vintage items too!

Why You Should Thrift Your Clothes

We’ve all heard that thrifting clothes is better for the environment, but why? Here are some reasons to consider why you should try thrifting the next time you want a cool new outfit!

  • You can keep plastic out of landfills: Studies have shown that 60% of the clothes made around the world contain synthetic material. This can sit in landfills for hundreds of years!
  • Less pollution: The cotton needed for textiles used in our clothing can actually account for a significant amount of waste. Almost 20% of the pesticide use worldwide is for use of growing cotton plants! This can contaminate food supplies or nearby water sources.
  • Reduction of greenhouse gases: The production of synthetic fibers in our clothing releases a greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide. This is even stronger than carbon dioxide! The fewer new clothes we buy, the fewer new clothes that will need to be produced!

My Favorite Des Moines Thrift Stores

Animal Life Line Thrift Shop

This is one of the coolest thrift shops ever! I say this mostly based on their cause. All of their proceeds go to the Animal Life Line of Iowa, Iowa’s only special needs, no-kill animal shelter!

Encore Thrift Store

This thrift store is run by Hope Ministries. They provide food, shelter, and recovery services to those in need. Buying clothes from here help to fund these services to residents and communities in the Des Moines area!

EveryStep Giving Tree Thrift Store

Another great thrift store where all proceeds go to a great cause! This non-profit thrift store helps to financially support EveryStep Care and Support Services. This is a care service facility that provides hospice care, in-home patient care, grief and loss counseling, and other community and wellness support.

Plato’s Closet

Plato’s Closet is a thrift store and consignment shop. This means that you can thrift for clothes here, but you can also bring in and sell the clothes that you no longer want as well! As long as your clothes are in decent condition, you may even be able to make a little money! Even if your clothes are not accepted for consignment, Plato’s Closet will donate your clothes for you, so that they can be recycled and used again. Saving the environment one t-shirt at a time!

Let me know if you have tried any of these thrift stores for yourself, or if you have any thrift stores to add to the list! Comment below!

Mental Health Tips to Follow in Quarantine

If you’re anything like me, quarantine can take a toll on both your mental and physical health. I have always been a person who needs to interact with other people to stay sane. I’ve found that these five mental health tips have really come in handy as we wait out this pandemic and get used to our “new normal.”

Tips for Dealing with Feelings of Anxiety

Personally, my anxiety has been sky high with everything going on in the world around me. Here are some simple tips that I have found to really work!

  • Take a break: This can mean many different things. Some people try yoga or meditation, and I have really gotten into yoga during quarantine. Take some deep breaths. Count to 10, and count to 10 again if needed. I’ve found that it helps to take a step back from your problems and set them aside for a while– easier said than done!
  • Eating well balanced meals: Again, easier said than done. Especially with all the newfound quarantine boredom and maybe even stress. Snacking is ALWAYS okay of course, but try to have at least three balanced meals a day. Don’t skip meals, or don’t let any old, unhealthy eating habits catch up to you (note to self).
  • Make sure that you are getting enough rest: Sleep is important, and so is maintaining a good sleeping pattern! A change in your sleeping pattern can mess up your body’s natural rhythm. A stressed out body needs sleep!
  • Learn what triggers this feeling: Learning what triggers your anxiety can really help you address how you are feeling. I have found that writing in a journal is really helpful in identifying these patterns!

Tips for Dealing with Feelings of Depression

Being isolated and having a lack of stimulation is enough to give anyone feelings of depression. Here are some simple tips that I have found to be helpful in combating these emotions.

  • Taking time out of your day for self care: Even though some days you may just not want to get out of bed, I have found doing one thing for myself in a day can really be helpful. Even if it is just something simple, like getting up to wash my face, it can make me feel a little bit better!
  • Exercise: While anyone who knows me can tell you I am not the world’s greatest athlete by any measure, I can say that any amount of exercise has made me feel better on difficult days. This can be as simple as going on a walk or can be as intense as going through an entire at-home workout.
  • Avoid alcohol: Yes. I’m a college student. But yes, alcohol is a depressant. It can trigger depressive episodes or make existing episodes even worse. If you feel like this could apply to you, I suggest reducing your alcohol consumption!
  • Journaling: Journaling again for the win! Journaling and keeping record of the positives in your life can be really beneficial and have great effects. Here are some tips on how to journal properly so that it can really help you too!

I hope that you find some or any of these tips are helpful, regardless of the times we are in! Please comment or share any tips or tricks that you have found helpful for you!

New Puppy: A Day in the Life

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Meet Miss Archie!

Going into my last year as a college student, I have finally settled into an apartment in downtown Des Moines. As my roommate and I were moving in we came to one conclusion: nothing makes a place feel more like home than a furry friend!

We decided that we were in a good place to get a dog, and we decided on our little black Labrador Retriever puppy Archie. While she is absolutely adorable, not everything is sunshine and rainbows, and there are a number of things you should consider before getting a pet of your own. We have found that a lot of helpful puppy training tips have been a blessing too, as we continue to work with her and she keeps growing and learning!

With that said, I will walk you through a day in the life of living with our little ball of fur!

Archie’s Schedule

6:00 AM: Wide awake and ready for her day! (Even if her moms are not).

7:00 AM: Breakfast and morning walk around downtown Des Moines!

7:30 AM: Bite the couch, sprint around the apartment. Maybe eat the house plant. Destroy a pillow.

10:00 AM: Being a menace is exhausting stuff. Time for a nap!

2:00 PM: Wake up. Run around the apartment. Destroy meaningful personal belongings.

4:00 PM: Dinner and post-dinner slumber.

6:30 PM: Evening walk through downtown, or any activity that tires her out for the night!

10:00 PM: Bed time! (Hopefully).

While you can easily see how this can be an exhausting schedule, I can promise that she is completely worth it, although I will stress that getting a new puppy is nothing that should be taken lightly.

Archie’s first bath!

My Top 5 Hiking Destinations

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I am a huge nature lover, and with that comes my love for hiking!

Growing up and living in central Iowa, I had not even explored my love of hiking until recently. However, after some traveling, I was quick to fall in love with the peacefulness of the process and taking in the scenery around me.

Recently, I went to North Carolina for spring break, where I was able to hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains. That’s where I got the idea to create a hiking bucket list with all of my hiking destinations!

My Top 5 Hiking Destinations (In the United States!)

  • Burroughs Mountain Hike, Mount Rainier National Park: Located in Washington state. I chose this hike because it is home to one of the most iconic mountains in the world: Mount Rainier. There are also ample amounts of old-growth forests to explore, with meadows in between. In addition to the mountain, there is over 260 miles of hiking trails to explore!
  • Canyon to Rim Loop, Smith Rock State Park: Located in Oregon. There is ample opportunity to see wildlife on these trails, and is a popular spot for many hikers. I would love to just spend a whole day on this trail. I chose it simply because the view looks phenomenal (and I’m a little partial to Oregon).
  • South Rim Trail, Grand Canyon National Park: Located in Arizona. This trail is one of the more famous trails in the United States. Of course there is the Grand Canyon to see, and you can also see the Colorado River from certain points. I have yet to see the Grand Canyon– another big reason this park made the list!
  • Upper Emerald Pool Trail, Zion National Park: Located in Utah. This hike is well known for its massive cream and red sandstone cliffs and free-standing arches. There are also many natural waterfalls that you can catch throughout the hike! Any park with a waterfall has made my list.
  • Stairway to Heaven: Located in Hawaii. Technically, this is not a “legal” hike, and recently many people have been fined for doing so. BUT that does not mean it is left out of my dream hiking destinations! This hike is one of the biggest attractions on the island of Oahu. If you are careful, you can capture the absolutely one of a kind views that this hike has to offer!

Find more details on these hikes and other great hikes here!