Monday, February 29, 2016

February Budget




What I bought...

  1. blush cluster earrings: orig. $25, on clearance $7 - I went to The Limited to make some returns, and was distracted by the clearance jewelry while waiting in line. I have already worn them a bunch, so I'm content.
  2. red crossbody bag: orig. $40, on sale $19 - I have been wanting a new crossbody bag in a bright color. Since I wasn't ready to splurge, I found that this bag was the right choice for the time being.
  3. geo-print scarf: orig. $19, on sale $13 - Saw this scarf online, bought it, and loved it. It has already proven to be a great addition to my closet.
  4. wrap look sweater: orig. $60, on clearance $10 - Impulse purchase, no denying that. It was on super sale and I liked that it was different. I would probably regret this if it weren't so easy to get the cost-per-wear down.
  5. black wrap sweater: orig. $50, on clearance $12 - I originally bought this one in turquoise but didn't like the way it looked on me. I'm far happier with the black, although it has made me feel like I need more non-black pants.
  6. blossom infinity scarf: orig. $35, on sale $16 - An add-on for free shipping. Turns out that it really goes nicely with my wardrobe, and it doesn't make me hot when I teach. Win-win.
  7. dark wash skinny jeans: orig. $70, on sale $30 - My favorite pair of skinny jeans are really faded and worn out, which means I need a new pair. These were on super sale and are super perfect. 
  8. sateen skinny jeans: orig. $80, on sale $36 - See above.
What I received as a gift...



Both pieces c/o Mom. The jeans were purchased last month, but I wasn't sure if I was going to keep them since they're not a perfect fit. But they are at a comfortable relaxed fit, and that is what I want in casual pants. The skirt is just so pretty, I can't wait until warmer weather rolls around and I can wear it without tights.

What I returned...
I placed one big order to LOFT in order to qualify for free shipping. While I kept two pairs of jeans and a scarf, I ended up returning this dress (I didn't know it was drop waist and it looked silly on me), this top (loved it at first, but every time I thought it was the day to wear it, it felt so blah), and this sweater in both grey and white (I didn't like the grey, and I probably have enough white sweaters). While I could have easily kept the white sweater, I'm not regretting any of these return decisions. 

What I have my eye on for next month...
I still have yet to put together a wishlist for 2016, but there isn't much left on it, now that I found replacement skinny jeans and added a few new scarves to my collection. I know I'll be incredibly tempted by spring lines but I'll try my hardest to remind myself that I really don't need anything... unless I find some dresses that work triple duty for teaching, full research days on campus, and lunch dates. Or more fun accessories ;)

How did you do this month? Is there anything you're looking to buy now that spring lines are rolling out? 

[linking up with Fran for Budgeting Bloggers]

Friday, February 26, 2016

Five x Friday

2. Today I'm debuting my girlfriend jeans from Gap. While they're not the best pants ever, I do enjoy having a new pair in rotation. (I also enjoy paying 60% off the clearance price!)
3. Have you ever thought about rights to privacy? Do these rights extend to animals? I felt a little weird after seeing these pictures, but I also thought they were beautiful. But hooray for conservation efforts!
4. I anticipate that this is what next year's winter scarves will look like.
5. Want: these bear dogs. This watch. This bag. And this charm. Are we seeing a pattern here?


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Le Tote #8 and a GIVEAWAY

Today I'm hosting my first giveaway! I'm also sharing my favorite piece from my most recent tote: the Era button-down blouse. With $20 of credits to burn, I was *this* close to buying it, but I decided that I'd rather have Le Tote send it to me again and then I'd know for sure whether it was worth buying. In the mean time, however, I decided to keep this arrow pendant that came in my tote. I have been wearing it a lot, so I'm happy with the purchase. I tried finding something similar online before committing to the one from Le Tote, but couldn't find anything near the cost:quality ratio.

The earrings in the picture were also in consideration of becoming mine, but the right one fell out of my ear four times that day. One time, while talking to a professor. So.. yeah. Not a keeper. This top and this tunic dress also came in my tote, but I didn't like the way they looked on me (enough to not even bother taking mirror selfies). Even so, I was super satisfied with this tote. 

And now you have the chance to win a free tote from Le Tote! Simply scroll down to the rafflecopter below, enter, and bam! (read: wait a week to find out if you win). Giveaway ends March 2nd, with a winner announced March 3rd. Please read my rules and regulations as well, thank you, and good luck! [If you're not in the mood to wait for a chance to win, don't forget that you can always use my referral link and save $25 off your first month. Full disclosure: In return, I get $15 credit.]



a Rafflecopter giveaway


1. Open to residents of contiguous U.S. only // 2. Winner will be contacted via e-mail on March 3. If winner does not reply within 48 hours, winner forfeits right to prize, and a new winner will be selected. // 3. Host does not take on any responsibilities or consequences for what may happen when you receive your tote (i.e., if winner is displeased, any financial bills that winner may incur, if there are any problems on Le Tote's end, etc.) // 4. Forged or falsified information will disqualify entrant. // 5. This giveaway is not sponsored by Le Tote. Le Tote gave host ability to share free totes, and this is how host chose to disperse the chances.


[linking up with Lindsey]

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

on getting good deals

Today I'm sharing some of my best tips for getting good deals. 

Wait. By now I assume you're familiar with the ebb and flow of clothing prices. As a new arrival, we're looking at full price. Then there are a few promotions here and there that will knock 30-50% off the price, depending on the store. But if you wait long enough, you can get what you want for the clearance price. That was what happened with the flats I'm wearing today. I double-y waited because I didn't buy them as soon as they went on clearance. It turned out to be a good decision; when I went back to buy them, they were even cheaper!

Wait even longer. Sometimes clearance prices just don't do it for us. I have found way too many times that the price of a clearance item is actually more than it was when it was a regular priced item on a 30-50% off promotion. So it may take waiting for the store to run an additional 30-50% (60% if you're lucky!) promotion off the clearance items. That's how I managed to get my sweater for $12.

Phone-a-friend. I wanted this skirt from the moment I first saw it. Fast forward months (months!) later, and it still was beyond a reasonable price point online. The stores closest to me did not have the skirts in stock by the time they hit clearance, but do you know which store did? The one closest to my mom. Long story short, she bought the skirt for me (for far less than the online sale price). Hooray!

Giveaways. I'm hosting a giveaway tomorrow, so be sure to come back to take advantage of the best kind of deal: the kind that's free. Stay tuned!


Monday, February 22, 2016

repeats, yay!

All of the pieces I'm wearing should look familiar, as they were all featured on the blog last week (scarf, sweater, flats), although in different outfits. With the exception of holiday shopping and spending Christmas money, I have been really content with wearing what I already own. Without doing a strict closet purge, I have been trying to figure out what works and what doesn't, or what I still like and what I don't.

I haven't made much progress in the grand scheme of things, but what I know is this: I like my new scarf and sweater. I have liked my jeans so much over the years (on the blog 48 times) that I needed to get a replacement pair. (More on that later.) The jeans look very worn out in the seat, as if they're going to fall apart any day now. And my flats? I failed to wear them much last year when I bought them, but lately they're one of my favorites. Stay tuned to see more new and old favorites this week!


Top: The Limited  //  Scarf: Old Navy  //  Jeans: The Limited (similar)  
//  Flats: Christian Siriano via  (more options here)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

TTT: Blushing Beauty

When Bri announced that the theme for this month's Third Thursday Threads was blush, two pieces immediately came to mind: hi-side split sweater and sleeveless blazer. Since I had worn the sweater more recently than the blazer, I chose the blazer.

I actually wore this outfit two times before it made its way to the blog. The first time, a colleague asked me to potentially sub for his classes, as a bug was making its way through his family, and he wasn't sure whether it was going to keep him home or not. Essentially that meant I need an outfit that could double duty for a full day of studying/research as well as potentially teaching. The second time, I had returns to make, and just felt like wearing this outfit again. That day, a sales associate told me that she loved my outfit and said I look so put together. I was flattered but also slightly amused, as it's just stretchy pants, a long sleeve tee, and flats. I guess that's what Stacy and Clinton meant by "completer piece". 


 Sleeveless Blazer: Banana Republic (similar)  //  Top: (c/o Mom) Gap (same style)  //  
Pants: The Limited  //  Flats: Christian Siriano via Payless (shop options below)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

new favorite scarf

Once upon a time, I was perusing Old Navy's website, and I stumbled upon this bad boy. Long story short, I loved it, I bought it, and I loved it even more when it arrived. In order to make sure it really was a good purchase, I held it up against the tops in my closet. The scarf coordinated nicely with enough things (most importantly, neutrals) and so I wore it the first chance I got. 

While this isn't the most sophisticated work look ever, it does give you a sense of what I really like to wear when I'm just going to campus to get work done: stretchy pants and a cozy sweater or cardigan. Throw on a scarf and bam! Ready to go. It should come as no surprise to you when you see this scarf again on Friday.


Scarf: Old Navy  //  Cardigan: via Target (similar)  //  Tee: The Limited (similar)  //  
Pants: The Limited  //  Boots: via Payless (option)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Le Tote #7

I put my Le Tote subscription on hold over winter break, as I didn't feel like paying for clothes that were primarily going to get worn around the house, and because I had been thinking about canceling altogether. I figured time apart would help me decide whether I missed it and wanted it back or whether I was better off without it.

Well, once the semester started back up again, I didn't know what I wanted to wear to work, and so in a panic, I requested a new tote. The tote looked great when I picked it out - full of patterns and colors! But this ended up being one of the least satisfying totes in a long time. 

On one hand, I didn't expect to like this floral top as much as I did, but I also thought I would like it more than I did, if that makes any sense. It wasn't the piece I was initially most excited about, but of all the pieces I did receive, it was my favorite.

I had planned on pairing this top with a red cardigan, but it was just too warm for that. It's just as well, since I really like how it turned out with black pants and black heels. But it's also too bad that it didn't fit well (as seen in the second picture below).



Top: Le Tote  //  Watch: c/o JORD  //  Pants: via Kohl's (option)  //  Heels: via Target

I didn't bother wearing the other two tops that were in my tote [IG'ed here]. One was too over-sized, which I could have handled if it weren't so wrinkly and didn't come with a "dry clean only" tag. The other top was too short and also a wrinkled "dry clean only" mess. I let Le Tote know about this, and they offered me some purchase credit for compensation, so at least some good came from this.

The fourth top, seen below, was one I was looking forward to. About halfway through a lunch date with my husband, I realized I hated the top. But that's the beauty of Le Tote: you get to wear the clothes as much as you want, and then send back whatever you don't want to keep. Interested in giving it a shot? Use my referral link and you can save $25 off your first month.


Top: Le Tote  //  Necklace: Le Tote  //  Jeans: J. Crew Factory (very similar)  //  
Booties: Sole Society via blog sale (shop options below)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Six x Saturday

1. Random fact of the day: The "pound" key (#) is called an octotroph. Is it just me, or do you want to replace "hashtag" with "octotroph"? 
2. Random realization of the day: I could use more fun socks in my closet. You can bet I'll be buying this pair and this pair during the next clearance + free shipping day... unless you have a better suggestion?
3. Speaking of suggestions, I suggest you watch this video. If it doesn't make you slightly happier, then we can't be friends.
5. I can't put my finger on why, but I'm really intrigued by this dress from The Limited.
6. I won't buy the dress, though. I'm holding out for this dress. I'm trying this new thing where I'm cutting back on unnecessary shopping. I'm two weeks strong! 


Scarf: gift c/o Mom
Sweater: The Limited | exact
Pants: The Limited | exact
Flats: Christian Siriano via Payless | option

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

fake it 'til you make it

I'm slightly behind with blogging, as I wore this outfit two weeks ago [and 'grammed it one week ago]. I wasn't teaching that day, but I had a meeting with a professor. I wanted to make it appear as if I had my life together (which I don't) and that my chicness is entirely effortless (which it's not). So I channeled my inner actor-about-to-go-on-a-talk-show and arrived at the base of the outfit: button up shirt, blazer, and jeans. I opted for distressed jeans because I really wanted to make it clear to everyone in the department that I'm super cool (even though they all already know that). 

I loved the idea of the flats, but in all honesty, they made me miserable for the following two days. They scraped up my heels and my pinky toes so badly that the next day I went through every shoe option trying to find a pair that didn't magnify the pain. I was half tempted to wear moccasins or Birkenstocks, but it was 25 degrees and neither coordinated with my teaching outfit. 

Moral of the story? Don't try walking a mile in my shoes. Do strive for the effortlessly chic look.



Blazer: Merona via Target | similar
Shirt: (c/o Mom) Eddie Bauer | similar
Jeans: LOFT | option
Flats: J. Crew Factory | exact





[linking up with Lindsey and Laura]

Monday, February 8, 2016

simply not the best

"Every outfit is a winner," said no one ever. You can find these non-winning outfits scattered throughout my blog, although not compiled in one post. I caught myself by surprise having done some favorites posts (2015, 2014 pt. 1 & pt. 2) and who could forget my awesome bloopers post... but no fashion flops post.

Well, I've been inspired to get one together. Or another bloopers post. It's better to leave you in suspense on this one. In the mean time, here is my first fashion flop of the year... I call it the "[I think] I am so clever for tucking a tunic sweater into a skirt. OMGFASHUN." But now I see there's a reason why people don't do this. Because it doesn't look good. It looks marshmallow-y. [I'm not too torn up about this, as I suspect I'll wear this sweater again, normally, in the very near future. nudge nudge wink wink]


Sweater: LOFT | exact
Utility Blouse: LOFT | exact
Necklace: J. Crew Factory | [also seen here]
Skirt: Maison Jules via Macy's | [shop options below]
Fleece Lined Tights: (c/o Mom) Gap | similar
Pointed Toe Flats: via Target | similar

more grid print skirt options:

Thursday, February 4, 2016

big cheese

I'm so behind on blogging. "How behind are you?" I'm so behind on blogging, I can't even remember why I was smiling so much during this photo shoot. I feel like we should get to play a game that revolves around guessing correctly. These would be my guesses:

1. SNOW - I love snow. Even this pathetic little dusting made me so very happy.
2. so.freaking.cold. -  See those tiny little dots on the sweater? Those are actually holes. Apparently air can get into those holes. It made me very cold, but I was trying not to let it show... the best way I knew how: big cheese!
3. cameraman! - This was one of those rare occasions where my husband was able to take my pictures. I had worn a scarf most of the day [as seen on instagram], but took it off while teaching because I got too hot. I wanted pictures both with and without the scarf, got teased for that by my cameraman, and so I threw my scarf at him. It was far funnier than it sounds. (I realize that it doesn't sound funny at all, but it made me laugh.)
4. TGIF/T. - I don't teach on Fridays this semester, which means that my Thursdays are essentially my Fridays. Except that I still have to go to campus the next day... which would be Saturday? That sounds terrible. But I guess it's the price I pay for an atypical work schedule. 
5. All of the above.

What kinds of things are making you smile these days? 


Necklace: J. Crew Factory | option
Sweater: (c/o Mom) The Limited | exact
Wood Watch: c/o JORD | exact
Pants: The Limited | exact
Flats: via Target | similar

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

fireworks in february

Putting together an outfit for the first day of class is no easy task, but I was able to make it less daunting by using myself as inspiration. This outfit almost made it to my favorites of 2015, but it just lacked that something special it needed in order to be a favorite. Nonetheless, it gave me the starting point for this outfit. I took the same base, but made it more appropriate for cold weather by opting for tights and a shirt with longer sleeves. To give it the something special it lacked last time, I opted for my firework necklace. 

Moral of the story? Don't forget about your almost-favorites. With a little change, they can become your actual-favorites.



Shirt: The Limited | exact
Dress: Old Navy | very similar
Necklace: Shy Boutique | option
Belt: The Limited | option
Tights: (c/o Mom) Gap | similar
Heels: via Target | exact


[Linking up with Laura and Whitney]
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