Jul 28, 2014

July Budget

I know I'm not the first to say it, but can you believe that July is almost over!?!  On the one hand, I'm already looking forward to fall weather and clothing (layering is more fun that not layering, am I right?).  But on the other hand, I'm NOT ready for school to start again and I want my time in Michigan (by the way, I'm in the mitten state) to feel as long as possible!  I love it here!

I'm really proud of what I've done with my budget and shopping this month!  I made a couple of shopping goals for myself at the beginning of this quarter and have already started to work towards them.  Also, the fun little items that I've purchased have all been great deals.  So without further ado, here is what I purchased this month:

1.  Old Navy Denim Vest: Original Price- $32.94, Amount Spent- $0 (with Gap Rewards Dollars)
One of the items on my shopping list this quarter was the perfect denim vest, and it was the first item that I purchased!  I'm so glad that I found it because I have been wearing it constantly!  It is just the perfect way to change-up an outfit when it's too hot for other layering pieces.

2.  Target Cognac Flats: Original Price- $34.99, Amount Spent- $26.41
You know how it can be so hard to spend money on the basics?  Like, who wants to spend money on brown flats when you could buy a pretty dress?  That is how I've been feeling for quite some time now but I'm glad that I've finally purchased a pair of basic cognac flats.  I think I will be getting a lot of use out of them!

3.  Target Cognac Sandals:  Original Price- $19.99, Amount Spent- $7.52
When I purchased the above-mentioned flats, Target had a BOGO half-off how could I resist updating my sandal collection with this sparkly little pair?!

4.  American Eagle Jeans (not pictured): Original Price- $44.95, Amount Spent- $29.64
You guys, I finally found jeans that I love!  I remembered that I had a few pair of AE jeans that I liked in college and a few of you recommended them when I expressed my pants struggle a few posts ago.  So this weekend I found myself at my local AE where I had the most pleasant shopping experience.  The jeans were so well organized and the staff was super friendly and helpful.  After trying-on multiple sizes of all the different cuts, I fell in love with the High-Rise Jeggings!  They are so comfortable, flattering, and I don't feel like my bum is going to hang-out when I bend over.  SCORE!  And for this price tag, I'm already planning to purchase these pants in other washes!

5.  Madewell Top: Original Price- $49.50, Amount Spent- $18.91
This is the first purchase from Madewell.  After seeing lots of hype about this brand on blogs, my friend and I decided that we had to see for ourselves what it's all about.  We traveled an hour and a half just to stop at this store...and we weren't disappointed!  The quality of the clothing is impeccable and the girls working there were wonderful!  Unfortunately, most items are too expensive for my budget...but with 40% off of the sale price, I couldn't resist this top!  You know how I feel about French-themed clothing!

6.  Eddie Bauer Striped Top: Original Price- $29.99, Amount Spent- $23.84
Best friend shopping trip + adorable striped hoodie = matching tops for two!  How could I resist?  Although my top is purple and white striped and hers is navy and white.

7.  TJ Maxx Striped Work-Out Tank (not pictured): Amount Spent- $11
Speaking of matching tops, when Danielle and I got together a few weeks ago we had to do some shopping.  After visiting so many wonderful stores, the only things we purchased were matching, striped work-out tank tops.  At least we are sweating in style!

8.  LouLou Clutch (not pictured): Amount Spent- $12
Along with purchasing a denim vest and pants, one of my goals for this quarter is to revamp my handbag collection.  I'm already on my way with the purchase of a cute little chevron clutch!  I'm sure you will see it on the blog soon!

9.  Rocks Box Subscription- Amount Spent- $19
I'm on the fence about keeping my Rocks Box subscription.  While I love the service, paying $20 a month ends-up taking $60 out of my $250 quarterly budget...which just seems like a lot.  What would you do?  Keep it or ditch it?

Total Spent- $148.32 (Total Saved- 94.04)
Remaing Budget Through September- $101.68

All in all, I think I spent my money well this month!  I was intentional in what I purchased and I'm excited to wear my new pieces!

In conclusion, I have another budgeting question to ask you.  Would you deduct work-out clothes, underwear and pajamas from your budget?  Or do these purchases not count towards a wardrobe budget?  I haven't decided my stance on this question yet so I'm curious as to what you think!

Linking-up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers!

Jul 25, 2014

Blogger Blind Date

Last week, I had the greatest pleasure of meeting a blogger friend in real life for the very first time.  On Monday I went on a lovely outing with Danielle whom many of you know from her blog, A Little Bit of Wo.We.

If you read Danielle's blog, you know that she is adorable, intelligent and oh so hilarious!  I have to admit, in preparing to meet her in real life, I felt a little bit I was going on a blogger blind date (although maybe not so much blind since I've seen so many pictures of her).  Luckily, we quickly broke the ice by admitting to each other that we both tried on at least five outfits before coming to meet each other.  I mean, meeting a style blogger in real life?  What the heck am I going to wear??  Anyways, I quickly felt at ease with Danielle.  She is so down to earth and is even sweeter in real life than on her blog (how is that even possible?).

Danielle and I met in Georgetown for a delicious lunch and shopping.  And go figure, two style bloggers out on the town and the only things we purchase are matching workout tank tops.  At least we will be sweating in style!  

This amazing lady even took a few outfit pictures for me.   And let me tell you, she is a pro...offering to take detail shots without my even having to ask!  Is she great or what?!  I'm already looking forward to the next time we hang out.  I'm so happy and thankful to have made a real life friend through this crazy blogging world!  

P.S.  As you can see, I found a denim vest that I love!  I've already worn it a bunch of times.  It's such a great way to add a little interest to a dress when it's too hot to consider other layers.

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: Land's End (exact)
Vest: Old Navy (exact)
Shoes: DSW (similar, similar)

Penniless Socialite- Look What I Got
Rachel the Hat and Lena B, Actually- Passion 4 Fashion
Simple Sequins- Fashion Item Friday

Jul 20, 2014

One Year

Holy smokes, guys!  Whitney à la mode turns one today!  What started as an experiment in attempting to dress more stylishly has quickly become an important and rewarding part of my life.  As my style continues to evolve, I've developed such a wonderful group of blogger friends to help me along my fashion journey.  I want to send a heartfelt merci to all of you who visit my small little corner of the internet.  I cherish your presence, advice and friendship!

I had this glorious notion of a blogiversary photo shoot featuring a sparkly dress, confetti and balloons.  Alas, real life interfered (darn you, real life) and I spent the past week attending a training conference for teachers.  I, therefore, didn't have time for a fancy photo shoot.  

In lieu of a pink and sparkly dress, I've decided to post pictures of my favorite looks from the past year. At the bottom of the post, you can vote on your favorite look of mine.  I hope that you will put in your two cents!  Also, if you are interested in visiting the original post for an outfit, just click on the caption.

The Modern Austen- Sunday Best

Which look do you prefer?

Jul 13, 2014

Parisian Café

Yesterday I went on a lovely afternoon excursion.  My friend and I ate a late lunch at a French café and popped into a few art galleries.  If you are in the D.C. area, I would highly recommend dining at Le Diplomate.  The ambiance and the food really made me feel like I was back in Paris!

Quite coincidentally, when I posted this #ootd picture on Instagram, my best friend commented that I looked like I should be in Paris!  I suppose I was channeling my love for all things French yesterday!

And keeping with the French theme today, my dear friend Maricel, the intelligent and witty creator of My Closet Catalogue, has nominated me for a Liebster Award.  You may recall learning more about me than you may ever want to know the last time I received a Liebster Award (which is a way for us small-time bloggers to talk about how wonderful our blogging friends are).  Anyway, Maricel has written several thought-provoking prompts and has challenged me to respond in French!  Allez-y!

-Je vois...trois photos: une photo de mon église à Bordeaux, une photo de ma meilleure amie et moi, et une photo du mariage de mes parents.
-Je trouve...que le temps fait trop chaud aujourd'hui.
-J'ai...le chat le plus mignon du monde.
-J'aimerais...lire beaucoup de livres cet été.  J'en ai déjà lu trois : The Goldfinch, The Storyteller et Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?  Je viens de commencer The Silkworm de Robert Galbraith.
-Michigan me manque beaucoup.
-J'ai peur...des araignées.
-Je me sens...contente parce que c'est dimanche et je suis chez moi avec un café et mon petit chat.
-Je désire...un cupcake d'Occasionally Cakes à Old Town Alexandria.  Miam miam!
-Je paix dans ma vie.
-Je me demande...où voyager pour mes prochaines vacances?  Vous avez des idées?
-Je ne regrette rien!

(And just in case you don't speak French)

-I see...three photos: a photo of my church in Bordeaux, a photo of my best friend and me, and a wedding photo of my parents.
-I find...that the weather today is too hot.
-I have...the cutest cat in the world.
-I read lots of books this summer.  I've already read The GoldfinchThe Storyteller and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?  I just started The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith.
-I miss...Michigan a lot.
-I fear...spiders.
-I feel...content because it's Sunday and I'm at home with a cup of coffee and my cat.
-I crave...a cupcake from Occasionally Cakes in Old Town Alexandria.  Yum yum!
-I search...for peace in my life.
-I wonder...where I should go for my next vacation?  Any ideas?
-I regret nothing!

Instead of nominating the wonderful bloggers who have become my friends for yet another Liebster Award, I am instead going to simply list them.  If you have a couple of free minutes, I hope you will visit the pages of these inspiring women!

Brynn of Brynnash

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: ASOS (exact)
Purse: Coach Outlet (similar, similar)
Shoes: Aldo (similar, similar)

DC In Style- Monday Bloom
I Do deClaire- Confident TWOSday
The Modern Austen- Sunday Best
Style Elixir- Style Sessions

Jul 10, 2014

Rocks Box Review #2

Happy Friday Eve, my dear friends!  I am writing this evening with a quick update on my Rocks Box goodies.  For those of you who are not familiar with Rocks Box, for $20 a month you receive designer jewelry that you can wear around and then return, or keep forever.  If you are interested in more details and information, check-out my first Rocks Box review.

I am still delighted by my experience with Rocks Box.  I enjoy the element of surprise when I receive my box and I love experimenting with all of the jewelry (even if I don't choose to keep it).  I think that this rotation of accessories helps me to spice-up my wardrobe without making a huge investment.

Both the earrings and the gold bracelet arrived in my latest Rocks Box.  While I didn't keep either, I had a lot of fun styling them.  I loved the boldness of the earrings and the delicacy of the bracelet.  Both were quite versatile and went with a lot of ensembles.

This pink druzy necklace is sparkly and gorgeous!  I decided to spend the $42 to keep this gem.  In my first box, I received a black druzy ring.  When I reviewed this item, I mentioned to the stylist that I loved the druzy but would prefer something more colorful.  I can tell that she really took my comments to heart because this necklace is perfect.

If you want to try Rocks Box, please follow my link.  You will receive $10 off your first month's subscription and I will receive a $25 credit.  Merci beaucoup!

What I'm Wearing:
Kristine Lily Pale Pink Druzy Quartz and Gold Necklace in 14kt Gold Fill (similar, similar)
Gorjana Infinity Knot Cuff in Gold (similar, similar)
House of Harlow 1960 Sunburst Button Earrings in White (exact)

Penniless Socialite- Look What I Got
Rachel the Hat and Lena B. Actually- Passion 4 Fashion
Simple Sequins- Fashion Item Friday
Style Elixir- Friday's Fab Faves
Vodka Infused Lemonade- Très Chic Fashion Thursday

Jul 8, 2014

Kimonos and Clothing Advice

When I noticed several of my favorite style bloggers sporting kimonos this spring, I wasn't sure if I was trendy enough to pull-off the look.  However, trendy or not, I decided that I love how feminine and floaty a floral kimono can look and I decided to give one a try.  I waited several months to purchase one because I was looking for the perfect kimono that I had imagined.  It's a good thing I had birthday money to spend when I came across this lovely little number!

What is that one random curl doing in the middle of my forehead?

Now, I'm not going to lie.  Other bloggers have said that kimonos are a great layering piece for summer weather because they are so light-weight.  I agree that they are light-weight but if your summer weather is anything like my summer weather, the least amount of clothing touching your skin, the better.  For this reason, I've only worn this ensemble to happy hour with some girlfriends.  This expedition involved hopping from an air conditioned car to an air conditioned restaurant.  However, I am looking forward to taking my kimono to Michigan in a couple of weeks where the temperature is a bit more moderate.

And on to my next topic of conversation: I need some clothing advice.  You may have gleaned from my most recent budget post, that I had a lot of fun shopping with my birthday money and wasn't too much concerned with shopping for staples.  As a result, I now have enough fun items to get me through the summer and really into the fall.  I want to spend my next quarterly budget (July-September) a bit more mindfully.  I have come-up with a list of things that I have been wanting or needing for awhile that are going to be the focus of my shopping trips (although, let's face it, if a cute ASOS dress pops up, I might  throw it in there for good measure).

1.  A denim vest: I wanted a denim vest last summer but never found quite the right one.  This summer I again find myself wishing I had one in my closet.  I think it would be a great layering piece to add interest when it is SO hot outside.
2.  Dress pants: I love my pairs of trouser pants for work, but in looking at my outfit pictures from this school year, I feel like the pants are a bit out-dated.  I would like a few pairs in various colors with more of a skinny leg (but not too skinny...I don't want to give those high school boys a show!).  I have been looking for these for awhile and haven't been able to find any that are flattering on me.
3.  Jeans: Like with the dress pants, I am constantly on the look-out for jeans I actually like.  Although I think I need to get a little bit more serious about this search.  I would like some comfortable pairs of skinny jeans and perhaps a pair of boyfriend jeans.
4.  Purse options: I am woefully unprepared when it comes to my purse collection.  I have a few that I absolutely love and carry for an entire season.  I'm fine with this way of doing things for the most part but sometimes I find myself thinking, "If only I had the perfect clutch for this occasion."  I want to find a few bags that will spice-up my outfits.

So here is what I need from you, fashionable friends: advice on any of these items!  You have the perfect denim vest...where did you find it?  What is your favorite fit for dress pants?  You got your favorite jeans where?  Do you have a go-to retailer for fun purses?  Thank you in advance for all of your help and I will keep you posted on my progress when I write my budget posts!

An attempt at creative posing.

What I'm Wearing:
Kimono: Shop Ruche (exact)
T-Shirt: Everlane (exact)
Jeans: LOFT (exact)
Flats: Hand-Me-Downs (similar, similar)

Because Shanna Said So- Random Wednesday
DC In Style- Monday Bloom
I do deClaire- Confident TWOsday
The Modern Austen- Sunday Best
Style Elixir- Style Sessions

Jul 2, 2014

On Independence Day, the World Cup, and Stitch Fix

You know, some days I show up here and don't have a clue about what to write.  But then there are other days when I'm just bursting with things to talk to you about (whether or not you want to hear these thoughts of mine is something else entirely).  And today is one of those "bursting with ideas" kind of days.  It helps that all of these thoughts have been inspired by today's outfit and this just so happens to be a style blog...

First let me address the fact that I am enamored by this top!  Stripes and polka dots and floral, oh my!  Now we can move on to how this shirt inspired the other seemingly random topics listed in today's title...

I've noticed many other bloggers posting wonderfully creative 4th of July ensembles.  Independence Day always sneaks up on me and leaves me scrambling for a patriotic look.  It just so happens that this lovely top of mine features the good 'ole red, white and blue combination.  So here you go, friends, my 4th of July look!

Has anyone else been watching the World Cup matches?  Admittedly, I don't pay much attention to soccer until this tournament rolls around every four years.  And yes, I think that makes me stereotypically American.  However, the reason that I really enjoy the World Cup (or la Coupe du Monde, en français) is because I was studying abroad in Tours, France during the tournament in 2006 (the year of the infamous Zidane head it, friends).  The energy of the French people during that summer was infectious and it was so much fun to be a part of the experience.  Getting into the matches every four years is a way for me to relive the excitement of that summer.  Will you forgive me, though, if I want France to go all the way?  I promise that I cheered for the U.S., too!  It's a good thing that both nations sport the same color I can wear this shirt to cheer on both teams!  

And finally on to Stitch Fix.  If you have no idea what Stitch Fix is, allow me to refer you to my first review where I explain what the heck it's about.  Anyway, I mentioned in my last SF review that I hadn't been pleased with the prices of the items sent to me and wouldn't be continuing with the service if the situation wasn't remedied. Well, I have great news!  Stitch Fix has redeemed themselves!  Not only have the prices been lower overall, but they also sent me this top that I have been obsessing over throughout this post.

Below are the photos of the other items I received.  I knew, however, when I pulled this shirt out of the box, that no matter how well the other items fit, this was what I wanted to keep!  By the way, you can keep as much as you want from your Stitch Fix box.  I just have a self-imposed rule that I only get to keep one item.

And as always, if you are interested in trying Stitch Fix, please follow my link (I will earn credit towards my next SF) and I will be your best friend forever!

What I'm Wearing:
Top: c/o Stitch Fix (similar, similar)
Shorts: LOFT Outlet (similar, similar)
Flats: Land's End (exact)

Because Shanna Said So- Random Wednesday
The Modern Austen- Sunday Best
Rachel and the Hat and Lena B. Actually- Passion 4 Fashion
Simple Sequins- Fashion Item Friday
Style Elixir- Style Sessions
Vodka Infused Lemonade- Très Chic Fashion Thursday