Apr 29, 2014

April Budget

For a few months now, I have been grappling with a couple of issues when it comes to shopping and writing a personal style blog:

First of all, there's no doubt about it, I love to shop!  However, I am a teacher and am therefore working with a relatively small budget.  In order to not spend too much money, I tried a few tactics that actually made my shopping habits less healthy.  I would attempt spending freezes where I spent absolutely no money on clothing for a specific period of time.  However this led to binge shopping when the freeze was over.  I don't feel good about this.  And ultimately I don't feel good about constantly wanting more and more clothing when I truly am happy with all of the clothes in my closet.  I know that there are healthy ways out there to enjoy shopping for new pieces while not going overboard with the spending.

Also, I know that I sometimes feel jealous and frustrated when I read blogs and I see these lovely ladies constantly wearing new Tory Burch boots or carrying the latest Kate Spade bag.  I just wish I knew how they could afford these luxurious items!  For this reason, I want to be completely authentic and transparent when it comes to my purchases.

So, I've decided to develop a clothing budget (duh, right?) and I've decided to tell you about it once a month to hold myself accountable.

I looked to the blog J's Everyday Fashion for guidance as to how to set a clothing budget.  J's suggestion is to spend 2%-8% of your income on clothing.  Since I'm on a tight budget when it comes to living expenses, I shot for a budget of approximately 2% of my annual salary.  This means that I have $1,000 to spend on clothing each year.  Now, $1,000 felt like an overwhelming amount to keep track of so I decided to track my spending quarterly.  That means for each three month period, I can spend $250.  Although I do plan to rollover money to the next quarter if I don't spend it all.

Alright, now that I've explained to you my reasoning and budget, let's get down to what I purchased this month!

Blouse: c/o Stitch Fix- $68
Shorts: Old Navy- originally $26.94 but with Gap Card points, $0
Denim Jacket: Old Navy- originally $34.94 but with Gap Card points, $0

Total Spent in March = $68
Remaining Quarterly Budget = $182

The blouse is definitely on the expensive side and I'm not entirely comfortable with how much I spent on it.  However, as I explained here, I've told Stitch Fix to send me less expensive items from here on out so hopefully I won't be spending so much money on one piece in the future.  I had a bunch of Gap Card points saved-up so I decided to use them on some basics.  These shorts are super comfy while still looking nice and I can't wait to wear them when the D.C. temperatures become sweltering.   I mentioned before that I was looking for another denim jacket in a darker wash.  This jacket fit the bill and I've already worn it once!  I can tell that it will be a favorite piece to remix.  I also ordered a few pairs of pants but I'm not yet sure if I'm going to keep them.  If I do, I will include them in my May budget post.

Alright, thanks for letting me get my feelings about shopping and money off of my chest.  Stay tuned for how I continue to use my established clothing budget!


Apr 28, 2014

My First Giveaway

Bonjour, lovelies!  I'm so excited to be co-hosting my first giveaway today!  I've gotten together with a few of my favorite blogging friends to give away a $50 Target card...and who doesn't love Target?!  Check-out the details about how to enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apr 24, 2014

Stitch Fix Review #3

Bonjour!  I am back with another Stitch Fix review today!  If you are not familiar with Stitch Fix, it is a really fun personal styling service who delivers fashionable items right to your doorstep.  Keep what you want and mail the rest is that simple!  For my full Stitch Fix explanation, visit this post.  I've also reviewed another one of my orders here.

If you are interested in trying Stitch Fix for yourself, I would be so super-duper thankful if you would follow this link so that I may receive credit towards my next fix!

And on to the review!  Here are the items that I received that I chose not to keep:

So I really liked the idea of this stretchy, colorful skirt but I just didn't love it on me.

The sweater was really soft and comfy but it was a little bit "blah" looking...especially for the price!

I was really hopeful about the mint-colored jeans but they were unfortunately too small.  Shockingly, this is the first pair of pants Stitch Fix has sent me that haven't fit (I say "shocking" because typically I have a really hard time finding pants that fit).

I really really liked this denim jacket.  I get a lot of wear out of the one that I currently own that is a hand-me-down from my sister.  I've been thinking of investing in another one in a darker wash...cue this jacket, right?!  Wrong!  Unfortunately this jacket cost $98!  And this teacher cannot afford $100 jackets.  (In other news, I just ordered a dark-wash denim jacket from Old Navy for a much easier to stomach price.  Stay tuned to see how it works-out)!

But finally, (drum roll please) I decided to keep this beautiful blouse!

I love the feminine, floral pattern and the fun details like the key-hole cutouts and the slit in the back.  I know this will be a great top heading into the summer because it is so light and flowy.  I really like it paired with my dark skinnies but I think it will look cute with my navy shorts as well!

I threw in a touch of subtle pattern mixing by adding some striped heels.  Although I do have to admit to not wearing these shoes very frequently...only to events that don't involve much walking or any consumption of wine.

Anyhoo, long story short, I really like my beautiful, new blouse.  However, it was also on the pricey side ($68).  Since I had already spent $20 to receive my Stitch Fix box and that amount was credited towards my purchase, I decided to go for it.  Unfortunately, in the review I submitted to the company, I told them that if the price points don't decrease, I will no longer be able to receive Stitch Fix boxes.  I will let you know if the company complies and if I decide to continue with the service in my next Stitch Fix review!

What I'm Wearing:
Blouse: Stitch Fix (exact)
Jeans: LOFT (exact)
Heels: Gift (similar, similar)

Everyday Fashion and Finance and Perfectly Coutured- Three-fer Thursday
Penniless Socialite- Favorite Fashion Friday and Look What I Found (with The Tiny Heart)
Rachel The Hat and Lena B, Actually- Passion for Fashion
Simple Sequins- Fashion Item Friday
Style Elixir- Friday's Fab Faves
Vodka Infused Lemonade- Très Chic Fashion Thursday

Apr 22, 2014


One of the highlights of living in Washington D.C. during the springtime is a visit to the Tidal Basin to see the beautiful Cherry Blossoms!  I have to admit that I was skeptical at first.  True, pink flowers are beautiful, but can a few blossoming trees be worth the hype.  The answer is YES!  The spray of light pink blooms is absolutely breathtaking!

I feel so lucky to experience this beautiful act of springtime so close to home and I thought that the blossoms would be a fun backdrop for a few outfit photos!

These have been a few of my favorite pieces lately!  The dress is so comfortable and so versatile.  I love that it has an interesting print but in all neutral colors...that way I can throw on a denim jacket or a cardigan in any color of the rainbow!

I want to take a moment to talk about a serious incident that happened this weekend because of something as seemingly innocent as a flower.  On Saturday morning, I had to rush my beloved cat, Izzo, to the emergency veterinary clinic because he chewed on an Easter Lily.  Easter Lilies are poisonous to cats.  As a cat lover who has grown-up with cats, I didn't learn this important information until Saturday morning when it was too late.

Immediately upon arrival at the clinic, Izzo was hooked-up to an IV in an attempt to flush the toxins from his system.  They kept him at the clinic for almost 60 hours while they continued to hydrate him and to test his blood to make sure that his kidneys weren't failing.  Thankfully, Izzo is now resting comfortably at home and I'm so relieved to have him back in my arms!

During Izzo's time at the clinic, I cried approximately every five minutes and continuously wanted to kick myself for not knowing about the toxicity of lilies.  So here I am, spreading the word!  This is a list of plants that are poisonous to cats.  If you have a cat or are planning to bring a plant as a gift to a cat owner, please take a look!  (And for good measure, here is a list of plants that are toxic to dogs).

If you are the praying kind, or if you aren't, all prayers and positive thoughts for Izzo's complete recovery would be very much appreciated.

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: LOFT (similar, similar)
Necklace: LOFT (similar, similar)
Denim Jacket: Hand-me-down (similar, similar)
Flats: Hand-me-down (similar, similar)

Because Shanna Said So- Random Wednesday
Basic Training Corporate Style- Fashionably Employed
DC In Style- Monday Bloom
Fizz and Frosting- Mix It Monday
Style Elixir- Style Sessions
The Style Record- Monday Must Haves

Apr 18, 2014

Style Swap with Alex

I hope that you are beginning to recognize Alex from Undergraduate Style by now due to our various guest posts and style swaps!  If you haven't checked-out her blog yet, you must because she is just the best!

Alex and I had so much fun swapping styles before that we decided to do it again!  As soon as Alex asked if I was game, I immediately knew which of her outfits I wanted to "steal."  (Is it stealing if I give her credit?)

I know I've mentioned the versatility of detailed blouses before, but these wardrobe staples become even more important to me as the temperature rises.  When it gets hot, layering scarves and blazers to add interest just isn't an option.  For that reason, I love sleeveless blouses with cute details (like the real bow and the cute printed bows on this blouse).  You can throw one on with a pair of jeans or shorts and you are good to go!

In other news, have you seen this picture that is making its way around the interwebz?

Allergies have seriously been kicking my behind lately!  Pollen in the Washington D.C. area is out of control (I didn't have such serious issues in the lovely state of Michigan, that is for sure).  Anyway, I am currently enjoying my spring break by sitting on the couch with my cat and a roll of toilet paper that I'm using as Kleenex.  I know, I know, cue the song "Glamourous" by Fergie.

And don't forget to stop by Alex's blog to see which of my styles she recreated today!

What I'm Wearing:
Blouse: LOFT (similar, similar) <--Neither of these feature bows but I liked the ruffles and stripes!
Jeans: LOFT (exact)
Sandals: From France (similar, similar)

Penniless Socialite- Favorite Fashion Friday
Simple Sequins- Fashion Item Friday- Think Pink! (let's support Renae as she continues to fight cancer!)
Style Elixir- Friday's Fab Favorites

Apr 17, 2014


I don't know about you, but I often spend hours far too much time on Pinterest browsing cute outfit ideas.  But then I sit back and think about it.  I've pinned all of these outfits but I hardly ever act on the inspiration...until today!

The challenge for today's Third Thursday Threads at Bri's blog, Work Clothes, I Suppose is to bring a Pinterest outfit to life.

When I first ventured into the world of Pinterest, I usually pinned outfits that I loved but couldn't actually create using what I already owned.  I've gotten a little bit smarter over the years and now I try to keep my eyes peeled for looks that I can actually create.  When I came across this adorable look (orginally from Stilettos and Sequins), I knew I had to pin it because I owned all of the necessary pieces!

Her look:

My turn:

I think that this challenge has encouraged me to take a look at my Pinterest boards a little bit more frequently for some great fashion inspiration!  What about you?  Do you act on your pins?

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Belt: Charming Charlie (similar, similar)
Purse: Coach Outlet (similar, similar)
Wedges: DSW (exact)

Work Clothes, I Suppose- Third Thursday Threads
Vodka Infused Lemonade- Très Chic Fashion Thursday

And a picture with Izzo for good measure!

Apr 15, 2014

This Skirt Again

Do you ever go through phases when you just can't get enough of a certain clothing item?  Oh good, me too!  Right now I can't stop wearing this skirt!  I love that the polka dots add a fun feminine touch.  At the same time, the dots are so small and the skirt is grey so it works as a wonderful neutral base to an outfit.  (And the elastic waistband doesn't hurt.)

I went with a neutral and lace look for this outfit by adding a white lace top, grey tights, grey and lace shoes, and a pearl necklace (of course).  I think the overall look is soft and feminine and I love it!

I'm participating in some fun link-ups today!  One of my link-ups is with the Modern Austen for the Pantone-Inspired Color Challenge (I'm wearing Paloma).  I'm also linking-up at Greater Than Rubies for a "one piece many ways" challenge.

What I'm Wearing:
Shirt: Loft (exact)
Skirt: Loft (exact)
Necklace: Simply Charming Boutique (similar, similar)
Tights: Anthropologie (exact)
Shoes: Gift (exact)

The Brandied Pair and Style of One's Own- Sit-Down Style Sessions

Apr 14, 2014

Mix It Monday: Polka Dots in the Stripes

What a lovely Monday morning!  I am just two days away from Spring Break freedom AND I am so excited to be co-hosting my first ever link-up with Lauren from Fizz and Frosting!  Welcome to Mix It Monday!

I just love this top so much!  It has all of my favorite details: the color pink, stripes and polka dots.  I mean, come on, polka dots in the stripes?  How much better can it get?  I know that I just wore it last week, but I received so many lovely compliments that I decided to remix the top for this week's Mix It Monday.

Floral scarfs are such an easy way to add springy details when you still need to layer-up a bit.  And a striped top with a floral scarf is an easy formula for pattern mixing!  To make sure it works, I usually pick a scarf that shares a color with the striped top.

This skirt is another one of my new favorite pieces because it features a fun polka dot print but the print is so subtle, that it can act as a neutral.  I can't wait to wear it into the summer months and then in the cooler weather with tights!

Floral and stripes and polka dots, oh my!

And here is how I wore this top before: paired with bright and pastel colors in shades of blue and pink!  Which look do you prefer?  How should I wear this top next?

What I'm Wearing:
Top: Loft (exact)
Scarf: Lou Lou (splurge, similar)
Skirt: Loft (exact)
Shoes: Lindsay Philips (similar)
   fashion linkup Mondaysmix it mondayFizz & Frosting (Bloglovin') / Whitney A La Mode (Bloglovin') Linkup Rules:
  1. Follow your host Fizz and Frosting (via Bloglovin' or Instagram) and your co-host, Whitney of Whitney A La Mode (via Bloglovin' or Instagram)
  2. Share a post, showing how you remixed an item - a top, skirt, jeans, purse, shoes -- it's completely up to you! Want to share a collage? Go for it!
  3. Link back to this post with a text link or by sharing the linkup button!
  4. We'd love for you to tweet using #MixItMon so we can help promote your posts!
Want to co-host in the future? Please email Lauren at and use the subject MIX IT MONDAYS!

Apr 7, 2014

Brights + Pastels

Good morning, lovelies!  Today I'm participating in another Remix, Rewear, Restyle at Caitlin's blog, Greater Than Rubies.  This week Caitlin has challenged us to put an outfit together featuring bright and pastel colors.  To be quite honest, I've never put much thought into combining these two color groups.  Maybe I've done it before, maybe I haven't, I just never thought about it.  And that's what I love about personal style blogs: I am encouraged to think about my clothes in new and creative ways!

I am by no means an expert in the field of mixing brights and pastels but I will tell you how I managed to combine these color families without looking like there was too much going on.  First, I picked two contrasting colors to work with, pink and blue.  My foundation pieces, the pants and the top are my brights.  I used my pastel pieces, the necklace, blazer and shoes, to pull the contrasting colors together without blinding those who looked at me with too much bright.

 Umm, by the way, pink + stripes + polka dots in the stripes = my new favorite shirt.

What I'm Wearing:
Shirt: Loft (exact)
Blazer: Gap (exact)
Necklace: Simply Charming Boutique (similarsimilar)
Pants: Loft (similarsimilar)
Oxfords: DSW (similarsimilar)

Basic Training Corporate Style- Fashionably Employed
DC In Style- Monday Bloom
Fizz and Frosting- Mix It Monday
Greater Than Rubies- Remix, Rewear, Restyle
Just Another SmithBrynnash, and A Journey in Style- Floral Week 
Perfectly Coutured and Everyday Fashion and Finance- Three-fer Thursday
Style Elixir- Style Sessions
The Style Record- Style Must Haves
Vodka Infused Lemonade- Tres Chic Fashion Thursday

Apr 3, 2014

What Are Friends For?

As you may have noticed, I have an extensive collection of scarves! I feel good about this collection in terms of its variety of colors and textures.  Scarves are such an easy way to spice-up an outfit and to remix your wardrobe...and having a diverse collection helps to create so many wardrobe options!

I wrote this post a few months ago as a guide to building a well diversified scarf collection.  Having followed these guidelines myself, I feel that I don't need any more scarves.  However, considering the fact that scarves are usually inexpensive, I don't feel too guilty about adding to my collection when I see a scarf that I love!

I added this scarf to my collection a few weeks ago with the help of two very good friends.  We were roaming around Lou Lou, admiring the gorgeous accessories when we came across this adorable scarf. My eyes were immediately drawn to it as my one friend proclaimed that this scarf had me written all over it!  Meanwhile, my other friend snuck over to the cash register to purchase a gift card as a "thank you" for taking care of her cat while she was away.  It just so happened that the gift card was for the exact amount of the scarf!

Do I have great friends or what!?!

What I'm Wearing:
Tank: Express (similarsimilar)
Cardigan: Banana Republic Outlet (similarsimilar)
Scarf: Lou Lou (similarsimilar)
Jeans: Loft (exact)
Booties: Old Navy (exact)

Penniless Socialite- Favorite Fashion Friday
Perfectly Coutured and Everyday Fashion and Finance- Three-fer Thursday
The Pleated Poppy- WIWW
Style Elixir- Friday's Fab Favorites
Vodka Infused Lemonade- Très Chic Fashion Thursday