Thursday, December 8, 2016

31 Weeks

I really didn't intend to let so much time pass by since my last post. But my camera broke, and it bummed me out way more than it should have (blame it on the hormones). By the time I was over it, I realized I had no idea where my memory card was. I still don't. 

While hemming and hawing about getting a new digital camera, my sister-in-law suggested I use my phone, and then my husband pointed out a tripod/remote set while we were randomly in Best Buy one day. So here we have my first attempt at smartphone blog photos.

Top: Motherhood Maternity
Jeans: Liz Lange via Target
Flats: Christian Siriano via Payless

And of course, an obligatory bump photo. These photos were taken at 31 weeks. I have no major complaints these days, and I'm grateful for that. All the women in my prenatal water aerobics class who are ahead of me in their pregnancies make the last two months seem like the worst time ever. Here's to hoping that things stay manageable at the very least. Any words of wisdom from experienced moms out there are always welcome :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November Budget

floral top: orig. $35, on sale $21
coral robe: orig. $20, on clearance $7.50
purple wrap top: orig. $40, on promotion w/coupon $1
white tee: orig. $25, on clearance $10.50
grey leggings: orig. $25, on promotion w/coupon $5
(not pictured: two $1.50 tank tops, one $2 tee)

= $50

This month was about picking up some more maternity pieces for my growing belly (currently 30 weeks along), and specifically those that I knew I would want to wear over and over again. So far, so good. 

I got the grey leggings because I already had a pair of black maternity leggings and needed/ wanted to wear something other than the same pair of leggings every night. The white tee is long enough to wear with leggings alone, or paired with jeans and my coatigan. The robe is a nice piece to have when it's not cold enough for a sweater, but when I just want to be comfy at night. The floral top is basically my favorite top to wear when I don't feel like wearing a t-shirt.

The best of all? The purple wrap top. I just got it and love it (and it didn't hurt that it only cost me $1 out of pocket). My cousin brought it to my attention that after the baby comes, I'll likely only want to wear nursing-friendly clothes. So now I'm trying to be mindful of that with my purchases. For those of you who have little ones, did you only wear nursing-friendly tops, or did you wear whatever you wanted to, even if it was inconvenient for nursing?

[linking up with Franish]

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

on repeat: cozy coatigan

Recently I was out of state accompanying my husband on an extended business trip (few days for work, few days for play). I'm not sure if it was the trip or the combination of the trip and pregnancy, but it wiped me out completely. As a result, I have fallen behind with grading, dissertating, and - as I'm sure you have noticed - blogging.

But lo and behold, I'm back to share with you one of my favorite pieces this fall - this cozy coatigan. I have been wearing it on repeat since I bought it last month, and it's easy to see why. It's far warmer than I anticipated, which means it's great for days when it's not cold enough for a coat, but still cool enough to need an extra layer. The length makes it perfect for leggings, too. It really can't get much better than that, but it did, when I was able to snag mine for about 80% off the original price (promotion + coupon). Do you have a coatigan? Do you love it as much as I love mine?


Friday, October 28, 2016

October Budget

grey coatiganorig. $80on sale w/coupon $18
white longsleeve teeorig. $20, on sale $12
navy tee: orig. $17, on clearance $5
black capeorig. $80, on sale $30
space dyed sweaterc/o Mom
striped skirt: orig. $40, on clearance w/coupon $7
striped tankorig. $13, on clearance $3

= $75

While I spent more than I had hoped to spend this month, I would say that over half of the budget went to pieces I can continue to wear after baby comes, and the rest was spent on maternity staples that have already gotten enough use out of to justify their prices. There's nothing exciting at all about basics, but they are what I feel comfortable wearing these days, so I'm happy.

Although I haven't featured the coatigan or the cape on the blog, they are pieces I would highly recommend to anyone to pick up for the fall and winter. Both pieces also come in different colors, so you should definitely check them out!

What I returned...
I had bought these pants, but decided against them because I didn't think I'd get enough wear out of them. (Plus they slightly flare out at the bottom, which I found to be irritating.) While I still have another three months of pregnancy to go, at least one of those months will be spent mostly in the house. I see myself reaching for leggings or skinny jeans if and when I do leave the house over the holiday season, not ankle pants.

What I'm still mulling over...
The Limited had some great promotions this month. As you see, the coatigan is a keeper (and will be on heavy rotation once the cooler weather sets in). I'm not so sure about this cold-shoulder poncho, this camel cardigan, and this pink sweater. I'm starting to think I only love the poncho because it fits comfortably on my pregger self, but that it's really nothing more than a fancy huge t-shirt that I won't reach for after baby comes. I have had a camel cardigan on my wishlist for a long, long time, but after realizing that I already have three tan cardigans (1, 2, 3), I have a hard time justifying a fourth, even if it is longer and a different color. And the pink sweater is super cute, but is it too similar to my blush sweater tunic?

What I have my eye on...
I'm embarrassed to admit it, but these boots. I went to Payless on a whim, spotted the boots, and almost walked out of them if it weren't for my common sense. I'm fighting the urge every day to go buy them. Please talk me out of them. Or tell me that they're not too juvenile and that they're perfect for me?

[linking up with Fran for Budgeting Bloggers]

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

free shipping qualifier-keeper

Believe it or not, there came a point when my pregger self was no longer able to fit into my swimming suit, and I needed one for water aerobics. If you know anything about me, you know I'm not the kind of person who is going to drop $100 $50 $25 on something she may only wear a total of twenty hours. So what did I do instead? I searched high and low until I found that Kohl's had clearanced out their maternity swim suits, found a coupon for a deeper discount, and then had to decide whether to pay as much for shipping as I was for the suit. Spoiler alert: I didn't. 

Instead, I just found a few other items to add to my cart in order to qualify for free shipping. One of those items was this stretchy skirt. It has been perfect for Saturdays in the library and quick weekday errands, and hopefully it will continue to work next spring. I'm assuming it will, thanks to the elastic band. 

Tee  //  Skirt  (only $8!) //  Sandals

(22 weeks)

Monday, October 24, 2016

get your move on

Want to know what I did this weekend? On Saturday, I went to my last prenatal water aerobics class of the session. The class has been the highlight of my week for the past month, and I'm already looking forward to the next session. There's just something about the sense of weightlessness that can't be beaten. That, and during the session we ran a bunch of laps. The instructor later told us we almost ran a total of half a mile, which is basically the equivalent of a mile on land. #supermomstobe

I spent the rest of the day preparing (read: cleaning the house) for furniture delivery on Sunday. I wish I had a funny story to share, but I don't... unless you are amused by how strong delivery dudes are. No joke. Last year, one of the retiring professors in our department was giving away some stuff, including his pool table. Unable to pass up the offer, my husband and I wrangled up a few teammates from soccer to help us move it. That thing was insanely heavy for four of us. In order to get the new furniture in, the two movers picked it up and set it aside like it was nothing. I suspect after another session of water aerobics, I, too, will be that strong (ha ha). How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? 

(22 weeks)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

taste of fall

At the end of September, the temperature dropped for a few days to the mid-50s. It was amazing, especially after suffering through a summer full of days with heat indexes of 100+ degrees. I really started getting on board with cardigan + scarf + stretchy pants outfit formula last year, so it should come as no surprise that that's exactly what I wound up wearing on the first day that actually felt like fall.

Unfortunately a warm front is settling in now and the ten day forecast doesn't make it seem like cooler weather is on its way any time soon. Sad. And double sad because my order from The Limited just arrived and I'm loving this sweater and this cape. The cape is perfect, but I can't tell how pregger-friendly the sweater is. It would be nice to be able to wear it while I still fit in it. Ya hear that, fall?! Or do I need to spell it out?!

Dear fall weather,
You are cordially invited to spend the next couple of months with me. Your presence is requested as soon as possible. 
PS: You will be asked to vacate the premises in December. This girl desperately wants needs her White Christmas.

(21 weeks)

[Linking up with The Pleated Poppy]

Monday, October 17, 2016


watching: season 6 of The Walking Dead. I just started watching the show this spring/summer, and I'm nearly caught up and ready for the season premier next week!

wearing: a navy maternity tee ($5 on clearance) and a pair of light pink fleece pants that I've had since high school.

drinking: a glass of milk. For as long as I lived under my parents' roof, I started and ended each day with a cup of "hot chocolate" (really, it was milk with Nesquik chocolate power, microwaved for less than a minute). It was the only way I would drink milk. I haven't had it in years (other than hot chocolate during the winter), but now I'm drinking it everyday, since I hear that babies like milk or something... 

thinking: about all the things that are still on my to-do list, despite spending the day running errands (note to self: register to vote, buy dog food, do laundry, clean closet.).

anticipating: future fun: going to a new zoo next week (new = one I haven't been to yet) and then making a mini-vacation/babymoon out of a work trip the following week! 

What are you currently up to? 

Tank: H&M Conscious  //  Cardigan: The Limited  //  Maxi skirt: H&M

Friday, October 14, 2016

Five x Friday

1. Can you believe it's almost Halloween? Here are some comics to get you in the mood. (The first one literally made me laugh out loud. But don't expect too much.)
2. If that's not the mood you're looking for, then how about feeling cold and warm and fuzzy all at the same time? 
3. Interested in being warm and fuzzy this winter? Then grab this coatigan before it's too late. It's pretty much the best thing ever, and with the current promotion, you can get it at half off! 
4. I may have ordered a few things from The Limited when they had a recent 60% off store-wide promotion. And I may be most excited for this poncho. Ridiculous, I know, but can you see its appeal? No? Okay then, it's just me.
5. Technological advances never cease to amaze me. I recently came across a dynamic map that shows you current wind patterns across the globe. (You can drag the map to see more.)

(21 weeks)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

whoa! we're halfway there

This outfit marks the halfway point of my pregnancy. I looked forward to hitting the 20th week for a long, long time. For one, it marked when we would finally find out baby's gender (BOY!). I was also convinced that everything would be downhill from there. I can say now (a few weeks later) that in some ways, it has been downhill. I just didn't know that the "it" is a snowball rolling down the hill, faster and faster, collecting more snow and becoming this ginormous snow boulder. Incidentally, my belly is feeling like a boulder these days... so... yeah.

I'm trying to figure out how to balance sharing life stories without making everything pregnancy-related. I'm also trying to figure out how to make never-ending grading and dissertation writing into an interesting story. In the mean time, enjoy my Target clearance rack find ($8, woot woot!). It seems weird that a few weeks ago I was wearing a sleeveless dress, given that today I was wearing jeans, a sweater, and a scarf. Warmer weather is in our forecast, so maybe you'll see this dress again soon! And maybe I'll finally catch up and post new outfits soon! 

Monday, October 10, 2016

new but not getting used

During the first trimester, I could fit into most of my shorts with no problem. I only recall using the rubber band trick after eating, but needing to have my pants unbuttoned to make room for a food baby is nothing new for me. Once the second trimester and cooler weather came along, it was a different story though. I bought a belly band but it has gone unused since I can't get any of my pants over my hips and thighs. 

This is just a long way to say that the pants you see today are (over-the-belly) maternity pants. I got them on clearance, most likely because of that whole "you're not supposed to wear white after Labor Day" thing. I haven't worn them as much as I had thought I would, which is a little disappointing, but I'm hopeful that I'll either make it happen or wear these a bunch in the spring. Pinterest has been unusually uninspiring, so that hasn't helped either. How do you wear white jeans (especially in the fall)? 

Top: via Target  //  Cardigan: J. Crew  //  Pants: via Target  //  Flats: via Target

Friday, October 7, 2016

Five x Friday

1. This outfit was my go-to on the not-super-hot days of early September. It would still be on repeat if only my bust weren't bustin' out of it.
2. Is it just me, or are Old Navy's dresses really short? I tried this swing dress on in store recently, and loved everything except the length. I'm considering ordering it in a Tall if/when it goes on sale, but I doubt that it'll give me the five extra inches I need/want.
3. I complain about dresses being too short, and yet all I want to wear for fall are short sleeve and sleeveless sweaters. I have my eye on this "vest" and this "cape". What do you have your eye on for fall?
4. Something else that piqued my interest this week: US declares bees as endangered
5. And of course, snorts and nasal exhales.

(19 weeks)

Sweater: J. Crew Factory  //  Maxi Dress: Forever 21
Belt: The Limited  //  Sandals: via Target

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

ready for fall

As I mentioned in September's budget report, this is my favorite maternity piece so far. I'm not sure exactly what makes it maternity, other than it seems that there's plenty of room for a growing belly. I hope that's the case, since I plan to wear it throughout fall... if fall ever gets here. When I first wore this dress, it must have been 80 degrees. It's technically fall now, but the weather is still the same. I'll keep wearing this exact outfit until the temps drop, unless you have any ideas for how else to style it in the mean time? 

(18 weeks)

Monday, October 3, 2016

little did they know

I went to Michigan over the summer for a few days for a mini family reunion. The trip happened to fall on my birthday weekend, which meant I got a few presents, including this dress. When my aunt and cousin found out that I was pregnant, they seemed bummed that they didn't get me something more maternity friendly. I thought this dress would actually be perfect. It's loose, and it can easily transition to colder weather (tights and a cardigan, am I right?). They agreed, and told me they were actually debating between this dress and another more fitted option. How serendipitous! 

(18 weeks)

Dress  //  Flats

Friday, September 30, 2016

September Budget

  1. berry teeorig. $15, on clearance $8 
  2. striped teeorig. $15, on clearance $4.50 
  3. skinny jeans: orig. $35, w/coupon $26.50
  4. white jeans: orig. $35, on clearance $18
  5. navy dressorig. $28, on clearance $8
  6. floral dress: orig. $35, on clearance $15
  7. blue skirt: orig. $40, on clearance w/coupon $10

= $90

At one point, I had thought I could create an entire maternity wardrobe with less than $100. Clearly that's not the case, but I did find some great pieces at some great prices. The dark skinnies are easily going to get a lot of wear, and same goes for the tees. The floral dress is my favorite of all and will be able to be worn throughout the fall and after pregnancy, too. Same goes for the blue skirt.

I still plan to buy a couple of more staples in these next few weeks. I tried on some old tunic sweaters recently and they fit fine and look like there is still room to expand. (That's saying something since most of my clothes don't fit me anymore - I have grown just enough that I can't button my shirts or get my pants over my hips.) Hopefully they will work so I won't have to stockpile for winter. 

There are a few other pieces I purchased in an online maternity clearance haul, but didn't include them in this report because I'm not sure whether to keep them or not. On one hand, they were pieces that were less than $10. On the other hand, I have a few things I like, and don't want to buy just for the sake of buying. For those of you who are or have been pregnant, how did you approach shopping? Do you have any advice? 

[Linking up with Fran for Budgeting Bloggers]

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

not on repeat

A lot of my outfits are on repeat now that I'm pregnant. Some, however, are not on repeat. This is one of them. While it works in theory, it doesn't work for September. September is a windy month. I struggled to keep this skirt down every time I was outside (which was more than a few times that day since I had things to do in a couple of buildings and run some errands afterwards). Also, I think on this day it rained just enough to flatten my hair. That has nothing to do with the outfit, but I probably won't wear this outfit again for a long time. It worked when my belly was smaller and when I was trying to get away with looking not-pregnant. I've given up on that, as you'll see soon enough.

Tee: J. Crew Factory  //  Necklace: Forever 21  //  Skirt: via Target  //  Flats: via Target

Monday, September 26, 2016

say hello to my little friend

I know you really liked seeing outfits from five months ago, but it's time to fast forward to the September. I wore this outfit a few weeks ago to campus: a simple but reliable black dress and white drape cardigan that I have been waiting months to wear again. I really liked how this outfit turned out, or at least how comfortable I was in it. Now that I'm teaching online, I feel like I can wear whatever I want can fit into. My choices are slightly more limited these days because... 

I'm pregnant :)

When these photos were taken, I was 17 weeks pregnant. (I'm 21 weeks along now.) I'll share more as time goes on, but feel free to ask any questions in the mean time.

I plan to continue blogging for as long as I have time and enjoy doing so. I hope to share with you how I make the most of my current wardrobe for as long as I can, and at the same time, I hope to keep from buying an entire new wardrobe. (Although for a girl who still likes shopping, there will be a few fun purchases here and there, I'm sure.) 

Dress: Old Navy  //  Cardigan: The Limited  //  Belt: The Limited  //  Flats: via Target

Friday, September 23, 2016

Five x Friday

1. This is the last outfit that I have a photo of from the spring semester. 
2. I didn't take any outfit photos this summer. It was miserably hot and humid, and I had no motivation to photograph the same jean shorts and linen tank/tee combinations after driving home in a ridiculously hot car that lacks adequate a/c. Oh, and the driver's side window is stuck. Don't worry, the next time cash falls from the  sky, I'll be sure to grab some and put it towards repairs.
3. On a less (?) embarrassing note, I came across this music video on my Facebook feed this week, and watch it multiple times daily.
4. It wouldn't be a true Five x Friday without some humor (assuming you don't find my lack of adulting in #2 humorous)... so here... have a boat-load's worth :)
5. I have some news to share with you next week. (No, I did not dye my hair purple.)

Sweater: J. Crew Factory  //  Belt: The Limited  //  
Skirt: J. Crew Factory  //  Wedges: via Payless

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

white sleeveless blazer + grey ankle pants

In case you haven't been keeping track, this is the sixth time my white sleeveless blazer has made it on the blog. (You can see the previous five ways here.) When I bought it, I knew I liked it, but wasn't sure how to style it. Every time I have worn it has been an experiment in process. But this is what I've learned: I think it works best with skinny pants (full-length, not ankle - the extra inches makes a significant difference), although I'd try it again with a maxi skirt. I don't like it over t-shirts, so layered over sleeveless tops is the way to go, although I'd try it again in over a long sleeve white top.

I specifically remember wanting to wear this sleeveless vest by itself with these grey ankle pants, but thinking it was too scandalous for teaching. I threw the t-shirt on underneath, didn't love how it looked, but thought it was fine. Now that I'm teaching online, my style has changed a little. You'll see this soon enough :)

Sleeveless blazer: Forever 21  //  Belt: The Limited  //  
Ankle pants: Gap  //  Flats: Steve Madden via DSW

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

April 14th

This is what I wore on April 14th. There's nothing especially memorable about the day, except it was the first time I wore two of my Christmas presents: this top and scarf. I could never find a jacket or cardigan that I thought looked right with the top (which is baby blue), so I waited until it was warm enough to wear on its own. 

Good story, right? It's hard to come up with something interesting to say about an outfit from five months ago. I know I could share something far more interesting with you about what's going on in my life these days... but you'll have to wait a little longer for that :)

Scarf: White House Black Market (c/o Mom)  //  Top: H&M Conscious (c/o Mom)  //  
Belt: via Kohl's  //  Ankle pants: LOFT  // Flats: via Target

Thursday, September 8, 2016

sleeveless blazer: then and soon

After seeing this outfit again, all I want to do is put on a white tank, some jeans, throw this blush sleeveless blazer over it and call it a day. And I would do that, if only it weren't so hot and humid. But rest assured, as soon as this miserable summer weather comes to an end, I'll do just that. 

If you can't wait to live vicariously through me, then get a pink vest of your own (this one is fun)!

Sleeveless Blazer: Banana Republic  //  Tee: The Limited  //  
Pants: via Kohl's  //  Heels: via Target

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

back again

It's hard to find the right words to start this blog post. So I'll just jump in and state the obvious: I haven't posted in a while. After taking a month off earlier this year, I mentioned how busy I had been and how I wasn't finding time to fit blogging into my schedule. And I really didn't until this summer, but I didn't have the energy or enthusiasm for it. Plus, I was honestly enjoying just wearing the same Old Navy denim shorts and linen tanks/tees over and over again.

But now that the fall semester has started back up, and I'm actually getting dressed again, I have somehow felt compelled to return. That, and not really shopping for months has made me love shopping again. Oddly enough.

Today I'm sharing an outfit from March. Then I have four more outfits from April and then... new content?! Gasp! Stay tuned :)

Tank: Old Navy  //  Cardigan: The Limited  // Necklace: The Limited  //  
Jeans: LOFT  // Flats: Steven Madden via DSW

Friday, April 29, 2016

April Budget

1. striped skirt: $40 - While I paid more than I probably would normally for a skirt, I felt this purchase was justified for several reasons. First, it's versatile, and works for both teaching and for research days in the office/library. I love the elastic, the pockets, and that it's not a midi skirt! More importantly, I have been working really hard this month (as shown in the lack of shopping this month) and felt like I deserved a treat. 

I can't say that I have my eye on anything else this month. I only bought the skirt because a 50% + free shipping email me lured to J. Crew Factory's website. I will say that the semester is almost over, and my shopping buddy (who has also been extremely busy) and I have made a plan for a much-deserved trip to the big city :)

How did you do this month?

[Linking up with Fran for Budgeting Bloggers]

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Budget Rewind: March 2015

  • olive pants: $25 - I had been on the hunt for the perfect pair of olive pants for the longest time. While these weren't perfect, they were a suitable filler for the time. I would still like a pair of dark olive pants, but I'll continue to wear these until then.
  • striped tee: $8 - A free shipping qualifier. I accidentally put this in the dryer, and it shrank. Too bad, because it was so comfortable. Now it's just a striped tee that I only wear casually. (Probably why I've never worn it on the blog.)
  • split back tee: $15 - I loved the style of this top when I first got it, but one of the seams bust so I split ways with it (bu-dum-ch!).

Honorable Mentions:
  • red handbag: returned - I realized I didn't love it, so I took it back. (In the original report, I said, I probably don't need the Target bag. I thought it was a keeper, but now I'm on the fence. Go figure.)
  • cream handbag: returned - I had been working really hard and thought I deserved a treat. I'm glad I took it back because I ended up getting a more deserved treat a month later when I actually passed my comprehensive exams.

Not a bad month, but not a great one either. I remember feeling this way when I put together the original post. At least the damage was minimal!

Monday, April 25, 2016

March Budget

I know this is late, but I wanted to get it together before posting April's budget report. (Can you believe it's almost May?!)

  1. white tee: orig. $35, on final sale $5 - I know, I know. Another white tee. I couldn't resist the price. Plus, I'm starting to think a new white tee is in order every year since I wear them out so much. There's just something about the crisp clean white that I can't resist.
  2. colorblock scarf: orig. $38, on clearance $23 - This scarf was so delicate and beautiful, up until it snagged really badly the first time I wore it. Hopefully Nordstrom will take it back.
  3. olive shorts: orig. $50, on final sale $4 - Admittedly an impulse purchase, but at $4, how could I resist? I'm sure these will get plenty of wear this summer.
  4. white cardigan: orig. $70, w/coupon $20 - I can't remember what my justification for purchasing this was, but I did, and I love it. I seriously have to keep myself from wearing it too much.
  5. textured cami: orig. $40, on clearance $13 - I had wanted this top since I first saw it, but didn't want to spend $15 on it. I thought I lost out on it when it sold out before dropping below $15, but I got another chance on one fateful shopping day. 
  6. boyfriend tee (similar): orig. $13, on clearance $3 - When I went shopping over spring break, Old Navy had some ridiculously good sales. I can't even begin to tell you how many things were less than $10. It took a lot of self control to not buy everything, but I ended up with something I knew I'd wear a lot.
  7. sleeveless blue top: orig. $50, on final sale $4 - The color of this top caught my eye, the fit made me love it, and the price was an added bonus. The tag was marked $15, but it rang up for $4. I have worn this top three or four times now. The only drawback is that there is a crease that refuses to come out of it. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

debut: drape cardigan

One of the perks of taking a break from blogging is being able to wear the same thing on repeat. Like this cardigan. Over spring break, I went shopping with a friend, saw this cardigan, and wanted it. Less than a second later, I saw the same cardigan in pink. I had a hard time deciding between the two, but I chose white. I just can't resist new white clothes for spring. Long story short: I bought the cardigan, and have worn it at least once a week since then.

*$25 off your first month of Le Tote

Monday, April 11, 2016


You may have noticed my absence in the past month. It would be an understatement to say that I've been incredibly busy. In short, I'm trying to finish my dissertation this year, I'm creating a new online course, and I'm teaching two classes. Blogging has taken a backseat to these things, as I believe it should. Blogging has always been a hobby, and will always be a hobby. 

I felt like I need to at least say something about my absence from the blogosophere. I suspect since I still have some outfits on my memory card, I'll continue to post here and there. I'm not sure what will happen after that. Until then, let's just pretend that it hasn't been a month since my last post :)

Top: Le Tote //  Necklace: Forever 21  //  Cardigan: Old Navy  //  
Pants: Gap  //  Flats: J. Lo x Kohl's

Friday, March 11, 2016

Five x Friday

1. As if I needed any more reason to like Leonardo DiCaprio...
2. Want to reduce the chance of your child developing a peanut allergy? Expose them to peanuts at a young age! (Or so research suggests...)
3. Pocket penguin? Yes please!
4. It wouldn't be a true Five x Friday without bears.
5. ... and I want to make it an extra special Friday by giving you a double dose of bears :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

about a blazer

Once upon a time, I bought a bunch of blazers because I thought they were the bee's knees. But not long thereafter, I resented all my blazers because I would feel too constricted in them and get too hot in them on teaching days. On non-teaching days, I would avoid blazers because I felt too overdressed in them. Long story short: my blazers have been neglected over the years. 

Fast forward to this year when all I care about is being comfortable when I teach, and I have to try to figure out a way to balance comfort with some semblance of professionalism. So how do you make stretchy pants and a tank top work appropriate? Add a blazer! 

How do you like to style blazer? I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate them into my daily outfits, so I'd love to hear your suggestions! 

Tank: LOFT  //  Blazer: The Limited  //  Necklace: Le Tote  //  
Ankle Pants: Old Navy  //  Flats: J. Crew Factory

Monday, March 7, 2016

grey dress + floral scarf

Is mixing prints still a thing? I never officially jumped on that wagon, but I can't say that I don't watch it go by and consider hopping on. But on this particular day (a couple weeks ago), stripes and floral was just what the doctor called for. 

Then again, if the doctor is calling for floral, I want a second opinion. I think I have developed allergies. Do you have allergies? They stink. I have been taking Claritin, and after three days, I finally am starting to feel better. I'm not sure if that's because the medicine is finally kicking in, or if it has just been less spring-y this weekend. I'm hoping for the former, because by the look of things, allergy season is going to be brutal this year.

Striped Tee: Gap  //  Scarf: LOFT  //  Dress: Old Navy  // 
Belt: The Limited  //  Tights: Gap  //  Flats: via Target

Thursday, March 3, 2016


Thanks to all of you who entered my giveaway! The giveaway has closed and I have contacted the winner, so check your e-mail to see if you are the winner! If you didn't win this giveaway, don't forget that you can always try Le Tote at a discounted rate ($25 off) by joining using this link. (In return, I get $15 credit.) I just received another tote from Le Tote yesterday, and it is one of my favorites so far. Look forward to seeing some of the pieces on Instagram [ajourneyinstyle] in the near future and then on the blog in the later future. 

In the mean time, I'll leave you with a recent casual Friday look. It's a hodgepodge of some of my favorites: fuchsia loafers, elephant sweatshirt, and super soft and super comfortable skinny jeans. Do you dress more casually on Fridays? What are you planning on wearing tomorrow? 

Sweatshirt: J. Crew Factory | save, spendsplurge
Flannel Shirt: Old Navy | exact
Skinny Jeans: LOFT | exact
Loafers: Cole Haan (via ThredUp) | very similar

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Budget Rewind: February 2015

  • navy print scarf: $4.50 - Clearance scarves are my weakness. While I never need another scarf, $5 scarves are never a bad choice. It really doesn't take long to get your money's worth.
  • grey loafers: $16 - I barely wore these when I first got them and when I moved this summer, looked at them as a bad purchase. Now I'm wearing them far more frequently, and will likely get the cost-per-wear down to $1 by the time spring rolls around. It's the perfect flat for those warmer winter days.

  • grey ankle pants: $10 - It was difficult to decide whether these should be a good purchase or a bad purchase, so I split the difference. They were a good purchase in the sense that they were only $10 and I have worn them 5 times. On the other hand, they're not a great fit, and I probably only purchased them because they were $10.  
  • white sweater: $10 - Again, somewhere between a good and bad purchase. It's slightly too small, which makes me not want to wear it, and when I do, I always wish it were bigger. But, again, it was only $10. I suspect I'll be taking this one to consignment next fall.
  • burgundy scarf: $4 - I had a burgundy infinity scarf on my wishlist, and I found one and bought it. Unfortunately after the first wear, I realized I would have preferred something more lightweight. But at $4, I feel like I have gotten my money's worth by now.

  • striped sweater: $12.50 - I wore this sweater a few times before needing to wash it. At that point, I learned it was hand-wash only because it's linen. I tried hand-washing it and laying it flat to dry, but by the time it dried, it seemed warped. So I threw it in the dryer on the fluff cycle for 5-10 minutes. I'm convinced it shrunk, so I tugged at it. That only made it worse. I'll try to wear it again once the weather warms up, but it will probably find its way to the consignment shop next year.

Honorable Mention: 
  • white bag: I liked it in theory: small, neutral, not too casual, not too fancy. After sitting on my desk for a couple weeks, I realized I was never going to use it. It was just too small, so I returned it. I'm happy I did.

While this wasn't the best budget rewind to date, I'm still satisfied with what I bought and how much I spent. (Which makes sense, as I reported originally in that post that I was "mostly satisfied". 

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)

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