Sunday, January 31, 2016

Budget Rewind: January 2015

  • Target flats: $5 - It comes as no surprise that these were a good purchase, as they were one of my favorite purchases of 2015. 18+ wears puts cost-per-wear at 27 cents?! Okay! 
  • Old Navy dress: $10.50 - This one was in the running for the favorites of '15 list, but I don't love it. Even so, it still is a good purchase. I got it for a great deal, and have worn it five times (you'll see it again soon in an upcoming post). 
  • Old Navy turtleneck: $5 - Some pieces in your closet aren't going to be your favorites, but some are going to be solid additions. Case in point: this turtleneck. (3 blog wears at this point, but I'm pretty sure I've spent some time lounging in it at home) I wish they would have brought it back this year -- I really wanted one in white with black stripes.
  • J. Crew Factory sweater: $15 - I bought a similar sweater from Old Navy the year before but returned it because I was being stingy. Then I bought this one last year and I didn't wear it nearly as much as I thought I would. I have this problem where I really love wearing navy, but I also prefer to wear black pants. And since I refuse to wear black and navy together... then I also do a bad job of wearing navy. I guess I need new non-black pants. Anyway, I actually took this on vacation as well. It was the perfect piece, paired mostly with bermuda shorts.
  • J. Crew Factory bracelet: $5.50 - I want to be a bracelet person, but I'm not. I generally don't think about jewelry until the last minute, and by the time I choose earrings and/or a necklace, I don't have it in me to pick a bracelet. I'll try to be better about that this year.

There must be something about the new year that puts me in a smart shopping state of mind, as I had a really good budget rewind last year for January 2014. Hopefully if I'm still in the blogging game this time next year, I'll have similar great things to say about January 2016's purchases.

Friday, January 29, 2016

January Budget

What I bought:
  1. mixed-stitch turtleneck: orig. $90, on clearance $15 - My mom had actually brought me this turtleneck in cream, grey, and strawberry, and had me choose one. I chose the grey because that one was her favorite. A week or two later, I was in the mall again, and I came across the turtlenecks. I had worn my grey one already a bunch and so I decided to pick up another.
  2. window pane skirt: orig. $70, on sale w/coupon and store credit c/o Mom $15 -  You may remember me mentioning this skirt from November's budget report. I finally decided I'd just keep it because it's neutral, it's my kind of print, and it fits well. Now if I can only get the styling down right... 
  3. amelia medallion flats: orig. $108, on clearance $20 - One of my goals this year has got to be to stop giving in to 50% off clearance + free shipping deals at J. Crew Factory. These were definitely an impulse purchase, but I can see them fitting into my wardrobe easily enough.
  4. printed woven shell: orig. $50, on super clearance $5 - Most of my shells are too tight at this point, and I wanted to add a new print top to my closet. It's another piece that might have not been the best decision, but will be easy enough to fit into my wardrobe. [EDIT: RETURNED. Turns out that it was not that easy to fit into my wardrobe after all.]
= $50

What's in the mail:
  1. confetti fit & flare dress: orig. $80, on clearance $36 - I was first drawn to this dress when I saw it in store. At that time, it was full price, so it was a no-go. The next time I saw it, it was on sale, but they didn't have anything close to my size left. I ordered what I think should be my size, so we'll see what happens. I'm not sure whether I need another dress, but this one seems like it could easily be worn in the winter (with tights and a shirt under or cardigan over) or on its own in the summer.
  2. mini crossbody bags: orig. $40, on clearance $17 each - I ordered the red one and the cobalt one. Obviously I wouldn't keep both, but I have no clue which one would work better. I could see myself reaching for the red when I'm in a spunky mood, but wanting the cobalt one when I'm just trying to do my own thing. That makes sense, right? 

What was gifted:

7)  striped long sleeve tee  //  8) zip up hoodie  //  9)  ankle boots

not pictured: grid print muffler, black lace cami, perforated booties

I felt like I should still include these in my budget report as they are additions to my closet. These were Christmas gifts and/or purchased by my mom when we went shopping together over the holiday break. I bought the ankle boots with Christmas money thanks to my husband's side - that still counts as a gift to me. Side note: it's hard to believe how much better the deals were in store than they are online!

[Linking up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers]

Thursday, January 28, 2016


One thing you may (or may not) know about me is that I like animals. I like them a lot. I think they are pretty much the best things on this planet, and it makes me sad that they're so incredibly undervalued. But one thing that makes me happy is clothing with animals on it. It's safe to say that I'm a sucker for such things. A few weeks ago, I was in Forever 21 and almost bought a hoodie with an elephant on it. It took a few minutes for rationality to kick in and remind myself that I already have a sweatshirt with an elephant on it.

Later that evening, I grabbed my sweatshirt, cuddled with it, and said "I love you, Ellie". 

Sweatshirt: J. Crew Factory
Chambray Shirt: J. Crew Factory
Jeans: Charlotte Russe (old)
Moccasins: SO via Kohl's

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Budget Rewind: December 2013


  • Payless boots: $25 - I had been in the market for some black boots, but was not willing to shell out serious cash. That's what Payless came out with the perfect option for me. It's hard to believe they have only made it on the blog 15 times when they are currently my favorite boots. I also didn't realize until putting this post together that by now, I have gotten the cost-per-wear under $1.

If only I could have more budget rewinds like this -- few purchases, not much money spent, and still loving it all two years later.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Budget Rewind: December 2014


  • Kohl's white tunic sweater (c/o Mom) - One of my favorite sweaters and most frequently worn sweatshirts during the colder months. Complete honesty? I wore this sweater on Friday. And Saturday. And Monday. So. Yeah. Too bad it's starting to show serious signs of wear, but at less than $10, we have definitely gotten our money's worth.


  • J. Crew Factory triangle sweatshirt: $30 - I can't believe I spent $30 on a sweatshirt. But I also can't tell you how many graphic sweatshirts I haven't bought because I learned my lesson from buying this one. 
  • J. Crew Factory pink sweater (c/o Mom) - I have mixed feelings about this sweater. Part of me loves it because it's so bright, but part of me just never wants to wear it because it's so bright. I'm also frustrated that it started pilling around the neckline (wear my necklaces sit) after only two wears.
  • Target quilted slip on sneakers: $20 - I honestly thought I'd wear these a lot more. I mean, I wore them a bunch to take the dogs out, but I have plenty of shoes that I can wear for taking the dogs out.


  • Ann Taylor Outlet top (c/o Mom) - I loved this top when we bought it, but once it became part of my closet, I couldn't help but think of a bad burglar costume every time I looked at it. Around the same time, it started fitting weirdly under cardigans and jackets, and was too tight in the shoulders. 

I'm fairly satisfied with this rewind in terms of how much I spent on clothes, but dissatisfied that one year later, I'm less than excited about most of these items. I think I'll take it up as a challenge to wear the medium items this month!

Monday, January 25, 2016

December Budget

[I know it's really late to be posting this, as the January Budget report is going to be posted later this week, but I really like having my budget reports easily accessible.]

What I bought...
  1. white tankorig. $24.50, on clearance $8 - I bought this tank in grey last month, loved it so much, that I decided it would be great to have multiples. These are great for layering, and I imagine wearing on their own with print shorts in the summer.
  2. black tankorig. $24.50, on clearance $8 - See above explanation.
  3. lace trim cami: orig. $30, on sale w/coupon: $0 - The Limited sent me a $10 mailer. I didn't really love anything in store, so I looked to get the best deal possible. That day, lace trim camis were $10. Can't beat a free cami. 
  4. plaid flannel shirtorig. $30, on sale $21 - One of the things I wanted for this fall was a relaxed fit plaid shirt. All of mine are currently on the tighter side. I loved the length and softness of this shirt. The colors in the shirt make it easy enough to wear with black or blue jeans, on its own, or under a sweater or cardigan.
  5. textured cardigan: orig. $30, on sale w/coupon $16 - I have had a grandpa cardigan on my wishlist for two years now. I really wanted a big comfy cardigan that could be worn with just about anything in my closet. While this one isn't quite as oversized as I wanted, I'm satisfied for now. 
  6. boucle v-neck sweaterorig. $40, on sale $13 - I went out on Black Friday out of curiosity for how good the sales were. I didn't find any amazing deals, but mailers from Kohl's let me get something I wanted for this winter: a neutral v-neck sweater tunic.
  7. split sweater: orig. $59.59, on sale $18 - I didn't want to pay for shipping on tanks #1 and #2, but after weeks of waiting for a free shipping day, I lost hope and realized I'd have to make a big order to get that free shipping. I added this sweater because apparently I have a thing for pink these days. It's super cozy and I have already worn it a bunch, so I'm happy. 
  8. exact stretch skinnies: orig. $70, on sale w/coupon: $24 - My exact stretch pants have seen better days, but that's not bad considering I've had them for two years. (And I got my first pairs two years before that.) A new pair were in order. I highly recommend these pants if you want stretchy work pants.

What I returned...

In order to get free shipping on the tanks, I ordered a bunch of stuff, including this turtleneck tunicthis tunic softened shirtthese pencil pantsthis mixed media shirtthis shimmer fringe scarfthese crystal drop earrings, and the lou & grey funnel neck. Either the fit was off, or the items didn't end up looking as they did.  

What I'm still mulling over...

I loved this lace-panel sweater as soon as I saw it, but the $88 price tag was absurd, and even on sale, $44 was more than I was willing to spend on something I might not love forever. Then I saw a similar version from The Limited, and with additional discounts, the price became much more reasonable. I'm just not sure if I love it. Thoughts? 

Friday, January 22, 2016

favorite purchases of 2015

Last year, I put together a "best purchases of 2014" post. The top five were primarily determined by what got the most wear. This time around, my top five are the items I'm most content with and that I look at as the best additions to not only my closet, but my life.

striped tank {via LOFT}
While this tank has only made it on the blog a couple times, I spent most of the summer in it. I initially had a hard time bringing myself to spend $22 on a tank. Now that I have worn it more than 22 times, I find it less difficult to spend for things that I like and that I know I'll wear a lot.

field jacket {via J. Crew Factory}
This jacket definitely belongs on the list as it's one of the biggest steals I got in 2015 - originally $135, paid $54. I love that I have something to toss on for those days when it's not quite coat weather, but still cool enough to need a light layer.

Kate Spade handbag {via TJ Maxx}
I bought this for myself as a reward for passing my comprehensive exams. Not only do I love that I have such a simple but classic (and classy) looking handbag, but I appreciate that it reminds me of all the hard work I have put into graduate school. 

sleeveless blazer {via Banana Republic}
Even though I haven't had this piece very long, it makes me feel great when I wear it. And isn't that what all of our clothes should do?

pointed toe flats {via Target}
I spent $5 on these flats, and wore them 18 times in 2015 alone. It boggles my mind that I walked away from them when they were $12. Nonetheless, they are, without the doubt, the best purchase of 2015.

What were your favorite purchases of 2015?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

favorite outfits of 2015

Happy New Year! (A little late, I know.) Here are my favorite looks of 2015, from January to December.

1  //  2  //  3  //  4
5  //  6  //  7  //  8
9  //  10  //  11  //  12
13  //  14  //  15  //  16

Apparently I gravitated towards neutrals with a pop of color on occasion. While I recognized that I opted for brights less this year than last year, I was surprised to see just how frequently I opted for blacks and whites this year. You can compare my favorites of this year to my favorites of 2014 here and here.

Monday, January 18, 2016


Apparently I missed the memo that the university winter break schedule doesn't apply to blogging. But here I am! Better late than never, right?

I have been thoroughly enjoying my winter break. I got some new toys for Christmas which have been doing a great job of distracting me from the realization that this year is going to be hard. Along with teaching, I am also creating a new course, and trying to finish up my dissertation by the end of the calendar year. This means that I might not be posting as frequently as I'd like to, and it means that I might be relying on mirror selfies. But you all are cool with that, right? 

Even though we're halfway through the month, I'm still going to post my 2015 recaps this week, and hopefully get back to new outfit posts next week!
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