Friday, July 31, 2015

Budget Rewind: July 2013

  • J. Crew chinos: $10 - 7 blog appearances + a few wears in Colorado = good purchase. If it weren't for their price, they would be a medium purchase since the fit isn't perfect. But at $10 for some quality pants, I could easily retire them next year and be content in doing so.
  • Old Navy belt: $11 - Even on sale, it was more than I would spend on a belt, but I've worn it enough so I'm content. I only wish it were slightly longer so I could belt more skirts with it. (I guess I could buy it again.)
  • LOFT floral skirt: $5 - How could I pass up a $5 skirt in such a cute print?! Maybe because it was petite? Maybe because it was final sale? But no. (I'm bummed it isn't fitting me right now.)
  • Target flats: $15 - 48 blog appearances in two years? I would say I have gotten my money's worth. And these aren't even close to needing to be replaced. If you're looking for a pair of go-to black flats, I highly recommend them.
  • LOFT floral shorts: $10 - I can't believe I regretted buying these the moment I walked out of the store (they were final sale). I absolutely love LOFT's linen shorts, and can't believe that they've only made it on the blog a few times. 

  • The Limited ponte dress: $54 - A birthday splurge. I almost bought it at full price, but could only hold out to get it at 40% off. I don't wear this dress that much anymore, but that's because it's a little tight on me these days. But I absolutely loved the way I felt when I would wear it.
  • Forever 21 maxi: $?? - It was probably around $20. I probably didn't need it, and don't wear it that often, but it is perfect for those incredibly hot days (which is when I wear them, and also when taking blog pictures is the last thing on my mind). 

  • Target fedora: $9 (c/o Mom) - I just don't know how to wear hats. I feel like the only times I would wear a hat is when it's hot, and when it's hot, I don't want to spend much time outside. So either I wear my hat indoors (which seems weird) or I don't wear hats at all. 
  • Old Navy striped dress: $24 - There are too many significant problems with this dress. The drawstring. The length. The fit (at least these days). I have such a hard time resisting anything with stripes on it.

I got some really great deals this month. I would feel much better about some of these purchases if they fit me as well now as they did when I bought them. At least I'm in a place where I'm comfortable getting rid of things that don't fit... so come spring, it will be a quick hello or goodbye to those pieces.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Budget Rewind: July 2014

  • JCF blue tank: $5 - I wear this tank regularly when layering and when lounging around the house. It has done it's purpose, but I probably wouldn't buy another one again since it pulls across the chest more than I prefer.

  • JCF blue dress: $40 - The thing that keeps this from being a good purchase is that it doesn't fit perfectly. It's a smidge too short, and the skirt is poofy in a weird way.
  • JCF necklace: $10 - For the price I paid, I can't say it was a bad purchase, but I really thought I'd wear it more often than I do. 
  • JCF bracelet: $9 - I have the hardest time judging whether jewelry is a good or bad purchase. Unless it's something that I wear a lot, I hesitate to call it a good purchase. This one gets worn, although I can't remember exactly when. Split the difference and call it a medium purchase.
  • Gap scarf: $9 - I really do like this scarf, but its design makes it difficult to wear. It's on the bulkier side, heavier material, but clearly has a spring vibe to it. Hopefully we'll get some cooler days before fall kicks in so I can wear it more.

Honorable Mentions:
  • JCF pink scarf: $10 - returned. I am terrible when it comes to buying scarves. I just want them all. I realized this one was too bright and I would probably never end up wearing it. 

A collection of medium purchases means that this wasn't a great month of shopping, but it wasn't a terrible one either. I honestly could have lived without any of these items, but the blue dress is by far my favorite of the month.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July Budget

1) stone drops necklace: $15.50 (orig. $52.50)
2) field jacket: $54 (orig. $135)
3) white tee [worn here]: $11 (orig. $34.50)
4) striped tee: $18 (orig. $30)
5) magnifique tee: $8.50 (orig. $45) [EDIT: RETURNED]
6) soft shorts [worn here]: $13.50 (orig. $27)
7) drapey drawstring pant: $8.50 (orig. $78)
8) navy flats: $29 (orig. $98)

= $149.50 (orig. $455)

I'm kicking myself in the shins for not holding out a little longer for some of those JCF items - a couple days after I bought them (final sale), a new promotion came along and the prices were even further reduced (wah wah). On the bright side though, I still got some great deals. Obviously the field jacket was the best deal this month (after the drawstring pants which I essentially got for 89% off).

The soft shorts and white tee are my favorite purchases of the month (so far). I have already gotten a lot of wear from them, and with the end of summer teaching comes more flexibility in my wardrobe options. (Read: I plan to live in the tee, this striped tank, the soft shorts, and these elephant shorts.)

I bought these purple flats with the intention that they would replace my current purple flats. While I loved the price tag ($10!) there was something about them that I just didn't love. The same thing happened with these coral flats. I got them for a great deal ($13) but didn't argue with myself when I told myself I was going to return them. I also ended up buying and returning this zip sweater. It seemed great in theory, but the zipper made the sweater fit oddly.

I'm still on the fence about this black vest. $30 seems like the price I'm going to have to spend if I want a black sleeveless blazer. As much I adore sleeveless blazers right now, I'm concerned that it's going to be a purchase I end up regretting down the road. Thoughts? Input? 

This budget report doesn't include items that are in the mail, including an Old Navy order (this scarf, this cardigan, and this dress - all pieces which will be great for the upcoming season), and a J. Crew order (this top). I almost bought this dress, too, but I'm already so over budget that I couldn't bring myself to do it. Maybe next month?

As you may have seen, fall items are starting to hit the shelves. I smell temptation, and I'm scared. Any suggestions for staying strong and avoiding shopping?

[linking up with Fran for Budgeting Bloggers]

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

zig zag

How do you feel about the saying, "There's a first time for everything?" I generally try to avoid clichés like the plague, but lately I've been clichéing all over the place. My husband and I found out last week that one of our dogs is allergic to thirteen different kinds of grasses, weeds, insects, etc. During the past week our cat wasn't eating her food, and so we took her to the vet on Saturday. The blood test results came back yesterday, revealing that she has really high kidney values. The vet recommended three day hospitalization for IV fluids. When she told me how much that would run, I said, "Wow, when it rains, it really pours, doesn't it?!" 

Moral of the story? I've never worn a maxi dress while teaching, but I did on Friday. Like I said... there's a first time for everything.

Necklace: groopdealz | almost exact
Dress: H&M | exact - now only $10!
Cardigan: The Limited | option

Monday, July 27, 2015

work ready

Recently AJ wrote a really good post about her office uniform. After reading that post, I came to the realization that I gravitate towards neutrals for my teaching uniform. This summer, I have found myself intentionally putting together colorful outfits to avoid wearing black and white every day. The thing is though, I feel great in black and white. I feel confident and comfortable. On top of that, those outfits come together so quickly. No stress, effortless, just the way I like it. 

You know what else I like? My new white tee. I mentioned in a recent budget rewind that I buy a new plain white tee every other year if not ever year. Granted, I'm generally spending $5-8 at Kohl's or Forever 21, so it's not a big deal. This time I spent a little extra and it has already been worth every penny. All 1,100 pennies.

[today this tee is only $5 with free shipping. use coupon code PICNIC. and then come back and thank me for telling you about this tee :) ]

Scarf: The Limited | optionoption
Tee: J. Crew Factory | exact
Skirt: The Limited | similar
Flats: J. Crew Factory | exact*
*now only $20 w/free shipping - use coupon code PICNIC

[linking up with Laura]

Saturday, July 25, 2015

summer blazer

Remember that one time when I thought a sleeveless blazer would be the perfect piece for summer? And then remember when I confirmed that it really is the perfect piece for summer? (That's today.) But seriously, friends. If you live in a climate that has heat, I would highly recommend that you get your hands on one. Or two. I've had my eyes on this black one for a while. I also had my eye on a blush one from Forever 21 that is no longer available (wahn wahn). Do you have a sleeveless blazer? Do you love them as much as I do? 

Sleeveless Blazer: Forever 21 [exact]
Maxi Skirt: The Limited [similar]
Sandals: via Target [exact]

more sleeveless blazer options:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

periwinkle for the win

Is it just me, or do you also get frustrated with this time of year? You know... that time when it's so very hot outside but retail stores are slowly starting to slip fall items into their collections? And when pumpkin spiced latte madness is just around the corner? On the other hand, I do look forward to the day when it doesn't feel like I'm getting into a sauna when I enter my car. We got a couples of those days earlier this week and I took the opportunity to wear my favorite summer sweater. It's realistically my favorite because it's periwinkle, and let's be real, periwinkle is pretty much the best color. Wouldn't you agree? 

Necklace: The Limited
Sweater: J. Crew Factory | similar
Skirt: J. Crew Factory | exact*
*inventory is always changing, so keep checking on it
Sandals: via Target | exact

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

endless summer

When I first started blogging, I would take my pictures immediately after getting home, throw together a post, and publish it by the end of the night. You were seeing exactly what I wore that very day. Now? Not so much. I'm days behind, but still such a stickler for maintaining order... so you get a casual Friday on Wednesday. hashtag casualwednesday? 

Oh and here's a fun fact for the day: there's a stain on my shirt (thanks to a flimsy straw in my iced coffee). Instead of throwing this shirt in the laundry pile, I got another wear out of it by covering up the stain with a statement necklace. hashtag gowithit hashtag itssummer hashtag arehashtagsstillathing?

Necklacec/o mom-in-law option
Tee: J. Crew Factory | exact
Skirt: H&M | save, spend
Sandals: via Target | exact

Monday, July 20, 2015

i'm feeling good

As much as I love buying and wearing new things, I have days when I just want to wear older pieces. It has less to do with what's old and what's new as much as it has to do with what have been good decisions. Black tee (that comes with me on almost every vacation)? Good decision. Striped a-line skirt (that I've had since 2011)? Good decision. Black patent flats (that cost $5)? Good decision. 

While I've made plenty of bad clothing purchases in the past, when I put together an outfit like this, I am reminded that I know how to make good decisions. And that is a good feeling. Do you know what else is a good feeling? I play in an adult soccer league and I've scored three goals in the past three games. A goal a game? I'll take it! (Let's not talk about the near-two year scoring drought that preceded this streak.) What kinds of things are you feeling good about these days?

Necklace: The Limited
Tee: SO via Kohl's | similar
Skirt: The Limited | similar
Flats: via Target | similar

Friday, July 17, 2015

the heat is on

Go figure that after I post some tips about how to dress for the heat, the temperatures spike and we get a heat index advisory. And then another one. But seriously. This first picture is what you get after I wipe the lens and set the timer. To say it was ridiculously humid would be an understatement.

I'm linking up with Bri for Third Thursday Threads: Favorite Summer Outfit. While the temperatures are less than desirable, I do love wearing dresses and floral prints, whether on my dress or my shoes. Add a coordinating belt, and you're good to go! 

Outfit 1: Dress: Gap [option] // Belt: The Limited [option] // Sandals: via Target

Outfit 2: Dress: Old Navy [option]  // Belt: The Limited [option] // Flats: J. Crew Factory

Thursday, July 16, 2015


99% of the content of my posts are sartorial, but today is one of those days when I depart from the norm. Recently I found a documentary on Netflix that I feel is worth mentioning and worth watching. And that is Show 'Em What You're Made Of. After watching it, I went out to Target and got their latest CD (with bonus tracks)... which I later learned came out two years ago. I'm such a terrible fan, despite the fact that I still get e-newsletters. (Apparently I deleted the one that said they were coming out with a new CD in 2013.)  I recommend the CD, obviously.

So there you go. I've been a huge fan of the Backstreet Boys since middle school, and while my fandom has waned slightly since then, I still love them. How can you not?! Are you still listening to bands from the 90s? Have you bought any good CDs lately? 

Dress: J. Crew Factory | same style
Necklace: via Groopdealz | same style
Sandals: Mix No. 6 via DSW

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

this is how I summer

I feel like summer gets an awful lot of hate in the blogosphere. Maybe it's just because I'm a July baby, but I like summer. I like not having to wear socks. I like not having to wear pants. I especially like laying out by the pool and soaking up rays (although there hasn't been time for that this summer, wahn wahn). I'll admit it can be tricky to look stylish in the summer. But it's not impossible.

So here's my advice, especially if you have to deal with 90+ degree heat:
1) Avoid form fitting clothing. Go for roomy items that let you breathe, like soft shorts.
2) Patterns! Forget scarves and statement necklaces, let your prints serve as a point of interest.
3) If you have to accessorize, I say opt for embellished sandals and/or sunglasses on the head. 

What are your tips for looking put together while staying comfortable in the dog days of summer?

Top: Old Navy | exact
Shorts: Old Navy | exact
Purse: Big Buddah (gifted)
Sandals: via Target | exact

Monday, July 13, 2015

love // stripes

I've come to the realization recently that I really like stripes. They're probably my favorite pattern. I don't know why I like them so much, but I do. I find myself gravitating towards striped items whenever I'm shopping. I have three black and whited striped skirts, and almost made this one my fourth. But I decided I really couldn't justify having another striped skirt. (And yet, somehow I can justify another graphic tee. Whoops.)

Tee: J. Crew Factory
Necklace: J. Crew Factory
Cardigan: The Limited | option
Skirt: Old Navy | similar
Flats: via Target | exact

Friday, July 10, 2015

geometric jacquard skirt

Once upon a time, I saw this skirt on J. Crew Factory's website. At that time, I couldn't afford (or justify) spending $88 on a skirt. Even when it was 40% off, it was still too much. By the time it was under $50, it was finale sale. And what reasonable person buys a finale sale item that they've never seen in person or tried on before? 

And then it disappeared. The end. But not really. Fast forward to the day it was in the clearance section (online). Even though it was final sale, it was cheap enough to take a chance (especially with an additional 35% off). I wasn't sure what size to get so I ordered one up from my usual just in case. My logic was that bigger stuff can always be taken in, smaller stuff can't always be let out. While I probably should have gone with my usual size, I still love the skirt. How do you luck out with final sale purchases? If the fit is off, do you get it tailored or just leave it as is?

Tee: The Limited
Sandals: Mix No. 6 DSW

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

déjà vu

Last night, I pulled a floral dress and cardigan from my closet to wear for today. I woke up to a dreary morning and somehow came up with the outfit I actually wore today. The image of my lace tee and black maxi skirt just appeared as I was making my coffee. I put them on and without even thinking twice, I grabbed my embellished sandals, a braided belt, and my green pendant. I can't tell you the last time I got dressed that quickly, let alone came up with a new outfit.

That's when I started thinking... have I already worn this outfit? I had a case of déjà vu and had to stop and make sure I didn't wear this outfit recently. (My maxi skirt archives indicate I didn't... although apparently I do gravitate towards pairing this skirt with white tops.)

I do have a serious question, though. Should jewelry match the embellishment on sandals? My sandals have more of a silver-ish embellishment (better seen here)-- so is it weird or wrong to wear a necklace with a gold chain? 

Top: The Limited | similar
Necklace: Forever 21 | option
Skirt: H&M | save, spend
Sandals: via Target | exact

Monday, July 6, 2015

coral and floral (soft shorts)

Did you go shopping over the holiday weekend? I went on Friday, and there were some really great deals. Most stores were taking an additional 60% off clearance items, but I managed to resist... except at Old Navy. All of their shorts were 50% off, including this pair. This glorious pair. 

Initially I wasn't sure whether I could wear them with anything but a white tee. I decided I'd take advantage of the deal and then try to get the juices flowing when I got home. The next day I went on Polyvore, and came up with five outfits in no time. Hopefully I'll be able to share some of those with you. And hopefully the sun won't wash half of me out next time. I swear my tee is a bright coral - not this ombre-ness you see.

Tee: Gap | option - only $6!
Shorts: Old Navy | exact
Sandals: via Target | exact

Friday, July 3, 2015

double stripes

I'm not one for print mixing, but there was something about the stripes on stripes combination that drew me in and made this outfit a thing. Or maybe I was just so eager to wear my new tee that I didn't even care what I paired it with. I actually bought it online for $20 because I liked it that much. When I went to the store to return other items that didn't work, this tee was on clearance for $15. With a 60% off clearance items discount and my student discount on top, it came out to $5. I was tempted to buy a few, but instead bought the necklace (for $10). I feel like there should be a name for two great deals in one go. Suggestions?

Necklace: J. Crew Factory
Tee: J. Crew Factory | exact*
*take 20% and get free shipping today w/code HOTSALE
Skirt: The Limited | option

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Budget Rewind: June 2013


  • SO via Kohl's white tee: $5 - I have a bad habit of buying a white tee about every other year (if not every year!). But for $5, I'm okay with that.
  • Gap coral tee: $5 - I forgot I only spent $5 on this tee. I can't say how many times I've worn it, but it's a lot. 
  • Old Navy tank: $5 - I honestly hate spending more than $3 on a tank, but this one has gotten a lot of wear, mostly layered. (I highly recommend Old Navy's perfect tanks. They really are perfect.)


  • SO via Kohl's sailboat tank: $6 - I honestly bought this because I saw it on another blogger. It wasn't the smartest purchase in the world, but it's great for those miserably hot summer days.
  • The Limited ikat scarf: $13.50 - I really liked this scarf for a long time, but lately it seems to sit funnier than it ever did before. I still like it, though, and will try to make this work soon!

Yay! Another month with no bad purchases! It must be that I tend to shop less in June, knowing my birthday is the following month. (Excluding this year when I called everything "an early birthday present".)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Budget Rewind: June 2014

  • Old Navy skirt: $17 - While I didn't get as good of a deal on this skirt as I did on my first striped skirt from Old Navy, I'm on the way to getting my money's worth. At first I was reluctant about spending almost twice as much on this one as my first one, but I haven't thought twice about it. (If you don't have a skirt like this, I strongly recommend that you get one!)

  • J. Crew Factory sweater: $22.50 - While it hasn't gotten much wear, this sweater is my favorite color, and has been part of some of my favorite outfits of 2014. I really wish I lived in a climate where I could wear this more often during the summer. 
  • J. Crew Factory sweatshirt tee: $17 - What started out as an impulse purchase has turned out to be a good piece for when I want to mix things up. I'm still on a mission to find new ways to wear it, so if you have any suggestions, throw them my way! 

Hooray! A month with no bad purchases! Hopefully there will be more no bad purchase rewinds in the future.
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