Tuesday, September 30, 2014

fallification: blue dress

Even though it's still warm enough to be able to wear this dress on its own, I thought I'd take a stab at fallifying it. I picked a cardigan and scarf, and voila: the fallification of my blue dress.

Dress: J. Crew Factory | very similar, similar
Cardigan: Merona via Target | almost exact
Scarf: The Limited | option, option
Heels: Apt. 9 via Kohl's | exact

Monday, September 29, 2014

September Budget

1. The Limited lace front sweater: originally $60, on promotion $19
2. Forever 21 classic woven joggers: $23
3. Apt. 9 Two-Piece heels: originally $60, on sale $40 - coupons & store credit = $5
4. Forever 21 woven fringe scarf: $5

= $52

I haven't yet worn the lace sweater but I'm going to make myself do it this week or return it. It's just so pretty that I don't want to ruin it! I've been on the fence about joggers for the past year, but in the past month or two I've been on the hunt for a pair that would work for me, and I finally found that pair! I mentioned in August that these heels would probably make September's budget, and when they went on sale and I had coupons, it happened. The scarf was actually on my wishlist, so I feel fine with that. Plus, it was only $5. (I had store credit to burn at Forever 21, but I've included the prices in my budget since the store credit came from a previous item I had returned that wasn't included in previous month's budget.)

And then there may be some things waiting for me to make a decision on... 

Mossimo wedges: originally $35 - $10 store credit = $25
Chinese Laundry suede wedge: originally $40 - $5 reward = $35
BCBG suede pump: originally $60 - $10 reward = $50
J. Crew Factory jeans: originally $80, on promotion for $28
The Limited gingham shirt: originally $50, on promotion for $16

Of the few pairs of booties I've had my eye on (1, 2, 3), these seem like the best option. I'd like to think they will work through fall and even into winter with skirts and tights. I'm probably going to pass on the navy wedges. Even though I have had navy wedges on my list for more than a year, they're more than I want to spend for navy wedges. I love the fuchsia heels, but again, the price is steep. The jeans are a great deal, and they fit well (most of the time) but they need to be hemmed. And who knows how much that will run. The shirt is such a perfect fit, and I love gingham, but do I really need another shirt? If I were to keep 4 of 5 of these things, I'd run up an entire month's budget. I was also hoping to get a replacement pair of cognac boots, a chunky sweater cardigan, and a berry puff vest this winter, but with two more shopping months, it's clear to see I'm not going to get everything I want. (wahn wahn)

Any advice? How'd you do this month?

[Linking up with Fran for Budgeting Bloggers]

Saturday, September 27, 2014

lucky five

They say fifth time's a charm... right? Because this is the fifth time I've worn my open knit top on the blog, and it's also my favorite way I've worn it. I don't know if it's the orange and navy, or the "I'm here to watch y'all peer edit your papers" attitude I wore with it, but it worked. Have a great weekend!

Top: The Limited (gift) | option
Skirt: The Limited | similar, option
Flats: Steve Madden via DSW | exact

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pinspired: gingham + navy

Some mornings I wake up and say, "Pinterest, inspire me." I was lead to this outfit. One of my colleagues told me my outfit looked very well-crafted. I didn't tell him that it was all thanks to Pinterest. So instead, I'm telling you, and hoping that that counts for something.

Also, it's the last day of Skirt Week (co-hosted by Andi and Inge) so be sure to join the fun (and the link up party), and to see how everyone has been wearing their skirts this week! 

Gingham Shirt: Old Navy | similarsplurge
Belt: Old Navy | exact
Skirt (c/o Mom): Tommy Hilfiger | option
Wedges: via Payless | option

Thursday, September 25, 2014

give in to fall

Wednesday morning, I woke up with a plan. That plan was to wear my new skirt from J. Crew Factory. After all, I said on Monday that I would be wearing it sometime this week for Skirt Week (co-hosted by Andi and Inge). But when I put it on, it didn't fit (so I opted for a different black skirt that also doesn't fit). It was all poofy in the front, but tight on the sides. I don't even know how that happens, but it did. So now I'm rethinking my revelation and thinking about giving up.

Giving up must be the theme of this week; I've also given up my fight against fall. What the calendar says, goes, and my calendar says plaid, layers, and neutrals. I think it also says booties, but I don't even know where to begin. Buckle booties? Wedge booties? Cut-out booties? Or should I just try to make mine work? (I've been trying to do that for two years but have not yet succeeded, so any advice you throw my way would be greatly appreciated!)

Cardigan: (c/o Mom) Banana Republic | option
Shirt: (c/o Mom) J. Crew Factory | similar
Necklace: via groopdealz | same style
Skirt: The Limited | option
Wedges: via Target | similar

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


you can't make this stuff up (aka: blogger bloopers)
(click any of the pictures to make them bigger)

 1  //  2  //  3

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[Dedicated to my camera-man, for without him, there would be no bloopers.]

Monday, September 22, 2014

pencil skirts are not the problem

Publicly tossing aside pencil skirts in favor of a-line skirts has caused me do some thinking. Why did say I have no desire to wear pencil skirts? Is it really an issue of comfort, or is there something deeper to discover? (Answer: there's always something to uncover.) 

Pause for a story: I recently went to J. Crew Factory to return this dress because it was too tight in the sleeves. Such a bummer. While I was there, I couldn't help but notice the "additional 60% off" signs in the clearance section, so obviously, I perused. I didn't have anything on my list, but I noticed this skirt -- for less than $20. With some time to kill, I tried it on. And guess what? I loved the way it fit. 

So what's the moral of this story? Don't judge a book by it's cover? Try things on before you dismiss them? J. Crew Factory can have some amazing deals sometimes? While all of things might be true, I think the important thing I learned is that there's nothing inherently wrong with pencil skirts. The problem I have is with pencil skirts that don't fit well. But guess what? There's a relatively easy fix for that. Try another store. And guess what? It worked. 

I'll show you the skirt later this week since it's skirt week (hosted by Andi and Inge)! But in the mean time, ignore my food baby and link up your skirt outfits with Andi and Inge!

Popover: J. Crew Factory | exact
Necklace: Forever 21 | option, option
Belt: came with Target skirt | option
Skirt: The Limited | similar,  very similar
Wedges: via Payless | option

Saturday, September 20, 2014

can't stop :: black and white

You guys, I'm so confused. One day I say I'm not ready for fall, and then the next day (and day after that) I'm in black and white. They're the only two colors I really want to wear. I mean, the temperature still doesn't have me reaching for sweaters or plaid shirts, but I am all about my neutrals. I reached for my purple print scarf to add some color to the mix. I was still half-asleep when I put together this outfit, so I reached for my purple flats - not even realizing they don't actually match my scarf. In my defense, I have purple heels on my wish list. If you ever see any at a reasonable price, feel free to send them my way :)

Tee: SO via Kohl's | option
Scarf: The Limited | option, option
Pants: Apt. 9 via Kohl's | option
Flats: Old Navy | option

Friday, September 19, 2014

not sweatpants

"Are you wearing sweatpants?"
"No. They're joggers. AKA dressy track pants. AKA slouchy dress pants."
"Since when do you wear sweatpants to school?"
"They're not sweatpants. And it's okay because I've got heels to balance the look."
"And is that a military jacket on your chair? Are you trying to go for a Kanye West look? Wasn't he the one that made sweatpants popular?"
"They're not sweatpants! They're not made of cotton! And this is what all the girls are wearing."
"Yeah, to New York Fashion Week last year. It's okay, though, you enjoy your sweatpants."
"They're not sweatpants!"

This was a conversation that happened between me and one of my colleagues. I don't pay attention to Kanye West, and especially not to what he wears, so I had no idea what my colleague was talking about. (Although I was impressed that he knew what people were wearing to NYFW, let alone what NYFW even is!)

Whatever you call these things, they're pretty awesome. I've been on the fence about them for such a long time, but in the past few weeks I decided I was going to pull the trigger and try them out. I was just waiting for these to get to a reasonable price (which still hasn't happened yet). So I looked to the best place to try out trendy items: Forever 21. And that's exactly where I found these joggers. Stupid name, yes, let's move on. I also picked up this scarf while I was there. $5?! Store credit to use up? Don't mind if I do! Anyway, I wore them with my nude heels for office hours, but then slipped into my Birkenstocks afterwards for research time. So. Much. Research.

Tee: SO via Kohl's | option
Scarf: Forever 21 | exact - only $5! (and it comes in other colors!)
Nails: Revlon Colorstay gel envy in Wild Card | exact
Fancy Track Pants (aka joggers): Forever 21 | exact
Birkenstocks via DSW | exact

Thursday, September 18, 2014

not fall yet

According to the calendar, it's still summer for another five days. So let's live it up! Let's wear our brights before we surrender to neutrals for the next six months! Let's bare our legs and let them soak up the last few rays of sunlight! ... Or let's just act as we always do and not get caught up in the little things? (Easier said than done, I know. I didn't even consider letting myself wear this skirt because it hasn't been 30 days since I wore it last. Caught up. I'm so caught up.)

Anyway, on to more important things. Like this top. I haven't worn it in such a long time, mostly because I've been stuck on what color cardigan/blazer to wear with it. And this cardigan. I almost donated it this summer, until I got greedy and wanted more than $2 for it. (Can you really blame me for that?) I would say they work together, would you agree?

Top: LOFT | also worn here
Cardigan: The Limited | similar
Necklace: Forever 21 | option, option
Skirt: The Limited | option, similar
Wedges: Merona via Target | similar, similar

[Linking up with Alice]

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

20 things...

I was nominated by Marissa at the modern austen Brynn at brynnash to participate in the 20 Things You Might Not Know About Me tag.  Both decided to put their answers in a video format (which you can see here and here). I'm not nearly as charming and sweet as they are, so written answers will have to suffice for now.

  1. How tall are you? According to my license: 5'7". According to the doctor's office: 5'6.75"
  2. Do you have a hidden talent?  If so, what? No. Unless you count spit bubbles or hand farts as a talent. But seriously, I am pretty good at completing jigsaw puzzles in one sitting without looking at the box. 
  3. What's your biggest blog-related pet peeve? "This is what I'm loving posts" that are designed to get people to click affiliate links, or anything that is obviously designed to get clicks. But the over-use of overly-cliche words: craving, uniform, obsessed, etc. is a close second.
  4. What's your biggest non-blog-related pet peeve? Point-blank: being inconsiderate. Driving under the speed limit in the left lane (especially on the highway). Not using a turn signal. Farting in church. Wearing too much perfume in church. (C'mon, people, we have no way to escape this!) Not flushing the toilet after you go in a public restroom. Not picking up after your dog... and anything else that falls under "lack of consideration of others".
  5. What's your favorite song? This is an impossible question to answer. I feel like I should say Can't Help Falling in Love since that was our wedding song. (It was the first song we ever danced to, and that was at my best friend's wedding. And it fits us so perfectly.) But I'd have to say either Nessun Dorma or Mmmbop.
  6. What's your favorite Etsy shop that isn't yours? I don't have one? I've never purchased anything from Etsy, but I do remember seeing a shop with cute Star Wars stuff for decorating a nursery. And another shop that had bear earrings.
  7. What's your favorite way to spend your free time when you're alone? Free time? What's that? (Playing solitaire or Mahjong Titans while watching chick flicks.)
  8. What's your favorite junk food? Brownies. Breakfast potatoes. Pizza. Anything loaded with carbs.
  9. Do you have a pet or pets?  If so, what kind and what are their names? Yes. 2 dogs (lab/cocker spaniel mixes): Solo and Nuna, and a cat named Jade. We would have birds but we're short on space as it is.
  10. What are your number one favorite nonfiction and fiction books? Ummm...  I can barely recall the last piece of fiction I read (I think it was Prep) so I don't have a favorite. I do read a lot (A LOT) of non-fiction, though, and I'd put the Bible at the top along with Philosophical Investigations.
  11. What's your favorite beauty product? Mascara. And face lotion. For the record, I suck at make up.
  12. When were you last embarrassed?  What happened? All the time. It's not a devastating embarrassment, but enough to make me feel awkward. Most recently, one of my powerpoint slides read "we does this because...." and a student called it to my attention (should be "we do this"). I just froze in place. er.. uh... um.. yep...
  13. If you could only drink on beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be? White wine. Or coffee. 
  14. What's your favorite movie? Beauty and the Beast. 
  15. What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep? I liked to consider myself a "social butterfly", but realistically I was a loner. Making friends was never my strong suit. I felt like most people in high school were so disingenuous, or I was just too awkward to be friends with them.
  16. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? If I were single, I'd say Rome. But since I'm not single, I'd say somewhere with nature, with snowy winters, summers that don't go above 85, and somewhere that isn't swarming with people. I don't know where this place is, but I'd live there.
  17. PC or Mac? PC. There are things I like about Macs, but I hate (HATE) all the hype. I generally avoid anything that is overly-hyped. Also, I'm poor. When my Macbook broke, I bought an HP laptop. It was 1/3 the cost and has lasted just as long as I had my Mac.
  18. Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse? My husband does thoughtful things for me on a regular basis, but the one that stands out the most happened on my birthday. He got me a bear painting! (A bear put its paw in paint and slapped it on a canvas, and I got the canvas-- with bear hair attached!!!) 
  19. Favorite celebrity? I generally dislike celebrities, but I also think Ellen DeGeneres comes off like a genuinely good person. And I think Mindy Kaling is hilarious. Oh, and I do like Novak Djokovic. A lot. And Kevin Durant seems pretty cool fine to me
  20. What blogger do you secretly want to be best friends with? If I tell you, it's no longer a secret ;-)
There we go!  I felt like I could do a post on all of these questions to justify my responses. Maybe I will. Hm. Until then,

I'm tagging:
I've tagged these bloggers because they are all such lovely and down-to-earth people. Plus, I actually want to know how they'd respond to some of these questions. So whether they participate or not, you should still head over to their blogs and get to know them! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

the magical stack

Next to my closet I have a stack of clothes needing to be put back in the closet. I'm sure that stack says a great deal about my messy habits, but it's also a magical stack. It's magical because it creates outfits for me. As I was putting some other things from that stack away this weekend, I noticed this sweater, skirt, and belt, one on top of the other. Hello, Monday's outfit. It's just too bad that I can't use this trick for tomorrow's outfit... unless I want to wear three bras, a kids' Notre Dame (replica) football jersey, and a plastic bag.

Sweater: J. Crew Factory | same style, similar color
Skirt: Old Navy | save, spendsplurge
Belt: The Limited | option
Flats: via Target | exact

[Linking up with Laura]

Saturday, September 13, 2014

fancy jacket, fancy shoes

In case the title of this post didn't give it away, this outfit made me feel fancy. I bought this jacket back in May, even though it was too hot to wear it at the time, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to wear it until fall. (Tell me I'm not the only one who buys things out of season?) Well, fall came early, so I put on my fancy jacket, some black pants, and my new fancy shoes. 

I had seen these heels at Kohl's a few weeks ago, but was not willing to spend $60 on them. Then Kohl's just had to send me a $10 off $25 coupon in the mail, and put the shoes on super sale the same week. Take an additional 15% off that total, throw in some unused store credit, and I walked away with these heels for $4.78. Ironically enough, I felt like a million bucks today. 

Jacket: Gianni Bini via Dillard's | similarlove this option
Top: The Limited | last worn
Necklace: Forever 21 | fancy option
Pants: (old, c/o Mom) Daisy Fuentes via Kohl's
Heels: Apt. 9 via Kohl's | exact

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pinspired: military vest + stripes

I've had this outfit pinned for such a long time, but I didn't think that my light blue striped top was the right top for the look. Flash forward (or backward?) to this summer when I visited my parents. My mom asked me if I wanted a striped top because it no longer fit her. Um, yes, yes I do want it. (Thanks, Mom!) So when the weather unexpectedly dropped twenty-three degrees overnight, this outfit came to be. Am I allowed to say that I really like how this turned out? Because I do. I also discovered today that I like fried jalapeno slices. And now I'm in the mood for jalapeno poppers. Danggit. 

Vest: Old Navy | spend, splurge
Top: (c/o Mom) Ralph Lauren | option
Necklace: (c/o Mom) via Kohl's | option
Belt: (c/o Mom) via Kohl's | option
Pants: Apt. 9 via Kohl's | similar
Flats: Old Navy | option

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

an a-line affair

I have absolutely no desire to wear pencil skirts these days. And why should I? A-line skirts are pretty much the best thing ever, at least for my body type. I'm one of those people who eats a brownie and it shows the next day. And by "shows", I mean, "causes thighs to expand 3 inches". Yet I'm surprised devastated when I go to put on a pencil skirt and I feel like I'm cramming a croissant sandwich into a sandwich size zip-lock bag (which, for the record, takes two people to do). I'm honestly over feeling like crap for not being able to fit into my clothes. So while I'm not "consciously uncoupling" from pencil skirts, I am allowing myself to wear my a-lines as much as I want without feeling bad. Is there a style or cut of clothing that you have been loving lately?


red blouse: J. Crew | very similar
black long-sleeve tee: SO via Kohl's | similar
elephant necklace: Forever 21 | option, option
striped skirt: The Limited | option, love this one
black flats: Mossimo via Target | exact

[Linking up with The Pleated Poppy, Happiness at Mid Life, Vodka Infused Lemonade, and Mix & Match Fashion]  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

the overwhelming scarf

This dress just won't stop working for me. If I didn't already have this dress, I'd run out and get this one today. Okay, maybe not today, but I really do think highly of my fit and flare dress from Old Navy. My scarf, on the other hand, is a different story. I loved it when I got it, but now every time I put it on, I feel like it's trying to eat me up. Do you ever feel this way about your scarves? If so, do you have any tricks to make your scarf seem less overwhelming? 

Dress: Old Navy | almost identical
Shirt: The Limited | option
Scarf: Gap | option, option
Belt: The Limited | similar
Flats: via Target | exact

[Linking up with Laura]

Monday, September 8, 2014

pocket tee + pencil skirt

I've been waiting nearly two months for the weather to cool down enough to wear my sweatshirt tee out and about. I've worn it a bunch with black yoga pants and white shorts around the house, but I've been wanting to mix things up a bit. So as soon as the weather dropped below 80 degrees, that's exactly what I did.

I'm not sure that I love this outfit (I swear the shame tuck looked less shameful when I left the house) but I do love that I tried something new. Have you worn anything lately that wasn't necessarily a winning look, but didn't leave you feeling sour?

Top: J. Crew Factory | exact, similar
Necklace: Target | option
Skirt: Old Navy | this year's version
Wedges: via Target | option, option
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