October 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Press Room

The Diva Tour heads to Fort Collins, Colorado. Simply Beautiful Consignment Presents … An Evening with the Thrift Diva!

From Farm girl to fashion model to frugal fashionista, Barb Tobias, America’s “Thrift Talk” Diva, has audiences on the edge of their seats with her entertaining and timely presentation …

Frugal Fashions and Decorating Secrets
Have you run out of money or at a loss for new ideas for your home or wardrobe? Enjoy an engaging evening of networking, refreshments, an autographed copy of Barb’s newest release, Tossed & Found and a lively presentation from world-class speaker, author and entertainer Barb Tobias.

Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010
Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Location: Simply Beautiful Consignment
426 S. Link Lane, Fort Collins, CO 80524

$20 pre-registration or $25 at the door
To pre-register visit Simply Beautiful Consignment
Or call:  1-877 711 DIVA (3482)
Or: Send $20 via paypal to – Comment: Simply Beautiful Event

Simply Beautiful Consignment
Edie Barton
424-426 South Link Lane
Tuesday-Saturday 11-5:30, Sundays by appointment

For more of Barb’s upcoming events, please click here.

The Diva Chronicles … Colorado’s Western Slopes

October 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs


A river runs through ...

A river running gold from the rich deposits of iron ore.

Having lived in Colorado for five years, I’ve (regrettably) explored far too few vistas that pepper this amazing state.  When I received a call from Kathleen, Diva extraordinaire, offering a chance to do a girl’s trip to the Western Slopes, I jumped at the chance.  I looked forward the experience—Colorado wine country—in the fall.     

It was early morning when the car arrived at my mountain home.  Hastily shoving my bags on top and around the existing luggage, I hopped into the car giddy with anticipation.  With camera in hand and a good supply of munchies close by, we headed west.     

Three Divas ... Barb, Susan and Kathleen

I hadn’t met Susan, one of the threesome, and was delighted to get to know this feisty little sprite as we maneuvered out of the foothills and into the mountains.      

Iron oxide turns the Sierra Madre Mountains red



Driving through the glorious weather that marks Colorado autumns, I had an inkling that this was going to be another trip to register in the Diva Chronicles.   

An abandoned homestead.

Crossing the state was awe inspiring … an incredible unfolding of changing topography and color; from the evergreen foothills to the arid majesty of the western slopes sprinkled with nostalgic mining towns and old abandoned homesteads.  

Fences make for good neighbors



We drove leisurely, with no set plan and stopping as often as we wished to snap pictures of the ever changing topography.  

Refrigerator repair woman

Ok, so here’s Susan getting creative shots while doing her version of the refrigerator repairwoman thingy … only you have to admit, she’s much cuter.     





Whenever we parked the car to view a particularly lovely vista, it seemed reasonable that we should also take time to stretch and restore ourselves. We would open the trunk; pull out our spare munchies and partake in chunks of creamy, warm cheese and a robust glass of local wine. (Of course, we repeatedly congratulated ourselves on having the foresight to pack these travel necessities.)       



As we crossed the continental divide the sun was setting softly behind the lofty peaks that sheltered Colorado’s wineries. Although we were getting a bit travel weary, we decided to take a quick detour and head for the wine tasting houses before they closed.   Since Susan was not one to imbibe in any form of bubbly brew, we basked in the good fortune of having our own designated driver.   

Cherry wine rimmed with chocolate ... mmmm

Our first stop was at Carlson Vineyards in Palisade, CO. (Visit them at  Once nestled into their lovely mountain tasting retreat we were happily introduced to their decadent cherry dessert wine lavishly rimmed with … CHOCOLATE.   Delightful, Decadent and soooo Diva!    

The country's highest vineyards





Sharing the fruits of labor ...

As for those wine snobs or skeptics (as you prefer), the hills and valleys of Colorado’s western slopes have the perfect climate for growing grapes. They routinely make countless award winning wines, giving some stiff competition to that little wine producing state on the other side of the Rockies.      



Visit Whitewater Hill Winery at

We closed out day at the Whitewater Hill Vineyards which produce luscious varietal wines at the quaint winery which overlooks the broad vista of the Grand Valley bordering the Colorado River.  We really enjoyed kabitzing with the owners.  You can visit this lovely winery at   

During the day …   

Old fire station and fire truck ... and one good looking cowgirl!


We played tourist …   




Continued sightseeing …     



Power thrift shopped  … ate more chocolate…     

Susan checking out the mattress.



And threw in just a tad bit of R & R.   



As each day gently unfolded we stood, each in our own separate peace, inspired by the majesty of this land we call home.    


Our adventures soon drew to a close. On the last day as the sun settled behind the peaks, we came upon this incredible scene.  Although I always loved the words to America the Beautiful, I never realize how incredibly perfect they were. The verses played over and over as we viewed the majesty of this country.

 At every bend, stunning canyon and mountain peak we visually celebrated the magnificence of this nation.     


                                                              O beautiful for spacious skies,
                                               For amber waves of grain,
                                               For purple mountain majesties
                                               Above the fruited plain!
                                               America! America!  

A Diva Adventure

February 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs

For 20 years, trekking through the wilds of northern Michigan to ski, snowshoe, cross-country and party with a group of fabulous gal pals has been an invigorating tradition.

To ski? You might ask, more than a little surprised.   Yes, there are hills, and it snows in Michigan. . . quite a bit actually. There is also a wondrous winter playground called Boyne Mountain.  Granted, it’s not a mountain, as the vertical drop only claims 800 feet, but it is enough for the most ardent downhillers to test their winter prowess.  In addition, Nay-Sayers should take heed because Michigan also has, ice . . . yep, and lots of that as well.

Michigan skiers have proven to be quite accomplished because they learn to edge, honoring that small matter called survival. And, perhaps more importantly . . . they learn to stop; not a small accomplishment considering the conditions thrown at those who challenge the northern Michigan climes.


The trip up north is more than a tradition; it is a support system for the gals who have joined our wild and wiley ranks over the years; each bringing to the party their own gifts and talents.

This gathering provides a time to commune and renew one another, bathed in the glow of friendship and unconditional support.

Before we were married, or divorced, or married again . . . we partied hardy.  Today, we may give it the old college try, but our hearts aren’t in it, at least not like before.

We have come to that place where we are comfortable in our respective places. We enjoy and value each other’s company; the laughs, the tears, the broken promises, the triumphs.

We don’t necessarily exclude men, nor do we rebuke their playful attentions. After all we still love the smell of fresh baked goods . . . we simply choose not to buy the goodies.  

We have retired to a more fulfilling place; enjoying the comfortable preference for each other’s company.

Discussions abound during those stolen days so free of regrets and responsibilities.  Although the winter retreats are all too brief, we come together with our mugs of coffee and our stories, each woman sharing her personal gifts; experiences, sorrows and adventures pulled from foreign places and different times.

And, we are growing older.  Most are at peace with the graces that age brings. Some are even riding the heady waves of new loves, others are adjusting to empty nests, while several nurse new wounds or pursue innovative opportunities.


The laughter that bounces up and down the stairs of the rented condo is infectious; it mingles with the steam that rises off our morning cups and dies at the end of the day amongst the heady glasses of brandy.  Sometimes our camaraderie is accompanied by a plate of warmed leftovers or a piece of chocolate cake that had been responsibly pass on during dinner.  It is the laughter that sustains us.  It is the healer.  It is our joy.


This was also the year of the ‘hat’.

Pulled from a thrift bin and stuffed into a suitcase, the hat became our perfect partner in crime. We laughed at each other’s incarnations as the cameras captured the Divas within.

The wearing of the hat was also our swan song; a way of paying homage to yet another year, and the promise of the next twenty.

An Interview with the Diva of Thrift

January 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Press Room

Q.  Why do you refer to yourself as a Diva?

 A.  I struggled to come up with a title for myself . . . a name that would reflect my journey to the top of the proverbial pile so to speak.  When considering strong, self-actualizing words for women, the English language provides few choices. 

Was I going to call myself a Princess? Well, we’ve all pounded that word into the ground. And, I really didn’t want to defend my title against all the little, fluffy, cutesy dogs named Princess.  

Perhaps calling myself a master of my trade would work. Naw, that term was obviously reserved for men. 

Okay, so how about mistress of my trade?  Well, that one is sure to make the tabloids, and not an image I wanted to portray.  Plus, the word no longer carries (if it ever did) the element of accomplishment that typified someone who has walked the bumpy road to success.

A Queen?  Now, there is a moniker that negates the thought of achievement brought about by hard, creative work.  The term typically refers to a birthright not accomplishment.

Alas, there remained . . .  the Diva.  Strong, accomplished, talented.  That could work.  Of course, I knew that there would be those that would scoff at such a self-proclaiming title, but I would ask.  What word has this culture cultivated to capture the strength, the magic, of talented, smart, resilient women? 

Thus, another Diva was born . . . The Thrift Diva



Q.  What exactly is Thrift?

 A.  Thrift or thrifting, as it is often called, is the act of purchasing secondhand items at a fraction of their original cost.         



 Check out my FAB 99 cent 60’s swing coat . . . 



 Q.  Don’t most people regard the act of thrifting as a rather seedy, back-alley type of activity? 

A. They used to, but times are changing. With the downturn of the economy thrift has stepped out of the closet . . . so to speak.  Many people furnish their entire homes in fabulous but frugal secondhand finds.  I have.  I just talked to a fellow thriftier that furnished her 3,800 square foot home with used bargains . . . for $8,000 . . . and it looks fabulous.

Others build their wardrobes from posh designer fashions they rescue from thrift stores, garage sales and auctions.

Q.  I find the phrase Thrift Diva to be somewhat of an oxymoron.  Isn’t thrift the polar opposite of being a Diva? 

A.  That is actually one of the reasons I began calling myself The Thrift Talk Diva.  My mission is to take thrift out of the gutter. To show people how to decorate or dress using recycled products.  Think of it.  No packaging, no shipping costs, no advertising.  Not only is thrift socially responsible, but we can all live in wonderfully appointed environments at little to no cost.

 And . . . The Thrift Diva can show them how to do it.

 Q.  Why are you the expert on thrift?

A.    I have been shopping America’s thrifty by-ways and high-ways for 30 years, I have outfitted my home and myself in fashionable thrift bargains, and I have taught countless Divettes how to create fabulous interiors for little to no cost. 

Q.  Am I right to assume that thrift shopping is becoming more in vogue with the downturn of the economy?

 A.  Although the art of thrifting has been around for years, it is definitely in vogue . . . it is the new black. 

Q.  Why does it matter?

A.  There are several factors that make this frugal trend a hot topic:

  • The economy is in the dumper but people do not want to give up their lifestyles . . . and they don’t need to.  What they need to discover is a cheaper means to accomplish their goals, whether it is outfitting their families or decorating their homes.  
  • Women are hard-wired to nest, to create richly appointed, comfortable homes.  Fashioning a home is the primer creative outlet for most women. It started when hides, caves and timbers were crudely fashioned into habitats.  These abodes were adorned with drawings, beads, animal relics and other adornments.  
  • It is fun.  The thrill of the hunt is as alluring in the halls of thrift as it is in the fields of prey. 

 Q.  Do you consider the Art of Thrifting to be a business or hobby?

A. My fascination with garage sales, flea markets, antique and consignments shops started out as a hobby.  I was a single mom on a tight budget and was thrilled at the thought of decorating my home at little to no cost. It wasn’t until years later and the change in perception that I actually turned my passion into a coaching and speaking business with the launch of my book Tossed and Found.

 Q.  Was thrift hunting an accepted activity 30 year ago?

 A.  Absolutely not.  As a matter of fact I write about going to garage sales, incognito.  I used to carry a pair of sunglasses and a scrunchy hat in my car to use whenever I stopped at a yard sale or thrift shop.  At the time I was a fashion model and I was doing a lot of radio and television appearances.  Back then my Divaness had not yet fully blossomed and I would have sooner died than been spotted with my head in a dumpster or in the back of some grubby barn searching for my holy grail. 

Q.  What is the best find you ever found?

A.  I will share my most cherished possession because I feel that worth is not measured by the actual price that is paid, but the value that it holds for the huntress.    

In the infancy of my thrifting addiction, I stopped by a fairly seedy sale hesitating as to whether to even go in. I did a quick scope of the interior of the garage and made the decision to leave when I spotted a dust covered picture propped behind some old boxes.  Its back was facing me and I could only see the old and tattered frame.  Turning it around and wiping the dust off the glass I was enchanted by the yellowed but fetching picture. 

A turn of the century Diva peered out through her mask at a costume ball.  I knew that I had to have her.  Hesitantly I asked the proprietress of this fine establishment how much she wanted.  Her tired reply asked for a mere $5.00.  I knew that day, as I walked my treasure to the car, that I was hooked.  I am a thrift-a-holic. 

Q.  When and why did you begin writing?

A.  I have actually written for years, but I never brought any of my projects to fruition.  It wasn’t until I lost my corporate position several years ago that I had the unfettered opportunity to follow my dreams.  One day in had a serious talk with myself and threw the question out to the universe, “What course should I follow now?”  The answer came back like a bolt of lightning…”Write a book about your passion.”  Hence, the birth of Tossed and Found.    

Q.  Is there a bigger message beneath the clutter (so to speak) of Tossed and Found?

A.    Definitely.  I want to reach women and deliver this message:  No matter how humble your dreams, no matter what your circumstances, you can reach that goal.  You are powerful…own it.  You are creative…embrace it.  You are a Diva.

Q.  Are experiences based on the events in your own life?

A.  Absolutely.  I talk about the experiences I have had on the road, on television and radio, on the runway and in business.  I relate some of the amazing adventures I have had like having a gun pulled on us during a garage sale, finding true treasures for pennies, and decorating my home in thrift . . . at no cost. 

 Q.  Can you share a little of your current work with us?

A.  Yes.  I am writing my second book entitled Tossed and Turned. Whereas Tossed and Found is about finding and buying secondhand treasures, Tossed and Turned is about decorating with frugal finds.  It shows, step by step how to turn a ‘noplace’ into a ‘showplace’ at little to no cost.




Modeling Picture from the 80’s . . . Was I ever that skinny?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The emerging Diva

I Love Bargain Hunting at Thrift Stores and Garage Sales

January 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs, Decorating, Fashion, Garage Sales, Recycling

Below is an email that I received from a very excited client. We are working to transform her somewhat worn home into a chic and stylish habitat.

Just last garage sale season, Jo learned how to shop using a newly frugal but creative eye. She quickly learned to spot the potential treasures beneath the tarnish. Prepare Jo Garage Sale

After holding a garage sale of her own, we spent a few fun and productive weekends looking for bargain furnishings to replace the items we literally hauled out of her house and sold on the spot.   Remember the old addage; One woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure? (Okay, so it is close enough.)

Jo was very hesitant at the beginning of our project.  She was skeptical of finding quality items at local thrift venues.  Now, she is an ardent believer and often ventures out on her own to find her bargains. She has learned that imagination and resourcefulness are key factors in finding the right deals.

Hi Barb,

I just made the best buy of the day… a love seat – FREE, courtesy of Aurora Library. I was actually looking at all their $1 books because the library is closing for good.

I found a free bookcase and had just taken it to my car when I walked back in to find that they had just pull a love seat from the back room and pushed it onto the sale floor.

I was the first to look at it, then another lady started pushing it around and inspecting it.  Since I had already made my decision to buy it, the sales person let me have it. Can you believe that?

I felt like  I just gave myself a big ole’ Christmas present. I can’t even tell you how great my family room feels to me – it’s beginning to feel more like home every time I add something.

Oh, and I picked up a fabulous lamp Goodwill for $24 with my Senior Citizen’s discount!  Ha, ha! My family room is so cozy and the lighting is great now. I love it.

I can’t believe that I’m so looking forward to next garage sale season!  I would have never thought I would be such an ardent convert!  This is fun and it is not costing me any more money because I am using the funds that I made when we held my garage sale.

Thank you so much . . . and, Happy New Year!
To your success,
Jo Guerra
Denver Entrepreneurs LinkedIn Group

What is Divawear?

December 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Blogs, Fashion

What is Divawear?

Divawear is clothing that makes you feel wonderful, special.  It carries a certain flourish, a unique style. It is about combining styles and creating your own special image; a personal and unique signature.  Most people don’t think about the fact that they are, indeed, telegraphing to everyone they meet who they are and what they think of themselves.

And, Divawear is fun!  The great news for women is that we aren’t relegated to being monochromatic. We don’t have to dress in suits in varying shades black, grey or blue.  We are peacocks!  Celebrate it!  Live it!  Choose it!

I have been shopping with my girlfriends countless times.  Invariably they will pull something off a rack, hold it up, and with complete conviction say, “Barb, this is so you.”  What they are saying is that I have created my signature look, a style that represents me; my attitude and significance .

The gang - western party 117 copy (2)

My Michigan Divafriends are glorious. . . they are very Diva, and have the zest for life that is magnetic.

The night before my wedding we decked ourselves out in our best Diva westernwear.  Needless to say, they even outshined the bride.

This group of gals are spirited, talented and have hung together through twenty years of marriage, divorce, business startups and business failures…all of which cemented our friendships and fortified our personal mettle.

the diva3 018

And, Divawear doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  I was shopping at my favorite DAV store on a recent 99 cent day and ran across this fabulous 50’s coat.  I snatched that baby up in a hurry, and just in time for the holidays.  My husband took a picture of me before we went out.  Hmmm….so glam.

My personal dress message announces, “I am wonderful. Come hang with me. Get to know me.  I am fun. I am playful. I am successful. I am a Diva.

A Divalicious Story

December 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Blogs


              Another Titillating Episode of The Daring Divas


Once upon a time there were four daring Divas that took a trip into the wild and rugged mountains searching for the fountain of youth.  With their wagon loaded with provisions and pulled by an eager team of oxen, the Divas journeyed deep into the steep and treacherous mountains taking great care not to spill one drop of their precious moonshine.

 3 Thrift Divas  10-09 015










One morning the fantastic Diva team woke to find that they had been robbed of their oxen and provisions.  Thankful that the barrels of moonshine where too heavy for the rogue bandits to move, the divas decided to have their breakfast feast straight from the kegs.  After happily slurping their fill they made an incredibly lucent decision as to their unfortunate predicament.  



Fortified by their bubbly brew, they set off on foot to catch the robbers. In a short while (imagine that) they came upon a quaint barn tucked in the folds of a mountain canyon. 


 Don's cheery fireplace 10-09 007


Still giddy from their bubbly breakfast they peeked through the windows and saw one of the dastardly rogue robbers warming his extremities by the blazing hearth. 







Collecting money 10-09 049




Apparently they had also surprised Christy, the proprietress of the quaint cabin, and were in the process of robbing her as well.  Hmmm, the Daring Divas knew they needed to take actions…fast.







 Diva Sonia chats w customers 10-09 053


Sonia rushed into the cabin to find that two of the culprits were hastily and stealthily adding their email addresses to Sonia’s private and coveted Christmas party list.   








3 Divas discuss color  10-09 048

sonias Barb 10-09 038


After reflecting on their predicament for a few minutes, three of the fabulous foursome conferred in an upstairs bedroom. Oh Drats, what are Diva Girls to do?   





 happy Diva  10-09 056



Meanwhile, downstairs, Diva Barb was trying to make herself inconspicuous by hiding behind a wheelchair.  Oh why had she worn such a bright top?  









Despite the distractions, a solid plan was formed.  Lauren would offer all her worldly possessions to the offending robbers in exchange for their freedom. Oh, and the return of their oxen and provisions.   

 sonias Barb 10-09 034


Meanwhile, the other three would select a weapon, said rolling pins, from the fine selection that was spotted tucked in the corner of the well-stocked kitchen. 













sonias Barb 10-09 028





A brief but mighty scuffle ensued. Diva Kathleen even tried to make a break for the phone to call for backup.  But, alas, the gallant Divas were outnumbered and lost their brave but destined battle. 









 Hear no evil, speak, see 10-09 013

The robbers, fortified by their win, told the devastated Divas that they could leave, on foot mind you, if they promised to hear no evil, see no evil or speak no evil.  

Which to this day, the fabulous foursome have endeavored to uphold?  Well, kinda . . . sorta.  You know how girls are!




Stay tuned for the next titillating episode of The Daring Divas!

Motivation, Leadership and Inspiration

November 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Blogs

I have sought inspiration in varying level at various times and have found that there is a rich tapestry of the inspired and those that inspire. They come in many different forms; a song we hear in the background, a headline or even a book title. Maybe the Universe is trying to give us a nudge or some divine spirit is vying for our attention.  Regardless of the venue or purpose of these seeming innocuous whisperings, we know at a core level that we have connected with resonances of a higher power.

The following sites not only inspire but allow women to connect with other women from all walks of life. Businesses can be promoted, information shared, and a blog or forum started. Here are some of my personal favs.

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