Sep 27, 2014

September Budget

Do you breathe just a little bit easier on Saturday mornings?  I know I do!  I had a super busy week that involved Back to School Night on Monday, interim grades due on Thursday and the Homecoming football game last night.  That just means that on this relaxing Saturday morning, my leisurely cup of coffee tastes a little bit sweeter!

My September Budget post is relatively short and simple.  I am on a quarterly budget system and September is the last month of this quarter.  I had only $34 to spend this month and I'm please with how I spent it.  I think I'm finally getting used to a clothing budget because I didn't struggle as much with wanting all the things despite having very little money left to spend.

1.  Banana Republic Quilted Whisper Tee: Original Price- $45 Price Spent-$23
I just couldn't wait for the weather to cool off so that I could wear this top (obviously since I already wore it here).  I couldn't pass-up on the quilted shoulder detail and the rich fall hue.
2.  Banana Republic Faux-Leather Trim Striped TopOriginal Price- $49.50 Price Spent-$18
I liked the little pops of leather trend from last fall but didn't purchase anything at the time.  That's why I was excited to see that leather is back in this year...and I decided that I had to participate!  I like that just the shoulder patches are leather.  I'm not ready for full on rocker chic yet!
3.  Copy Cat Zara Blanket Scarf (Cotton On)Original Price- $16.95 Price Spent-$11
If you read a single style blog last fall/winter, you know about the Zara blanket scarf.  I wanted one so badly but the coveted scarves were sold-out by the time I got around to purchasing one.  When Alex posted on Instagram that she had found a copy cat version, I knew I wanted to buy it.  I don't even care if it is last year's trend.  I can't wait to wear it!

Alright, so I know that I only had $34 remaining in my budget and I spent $52.  However, from my Banana Republic, I received a $20 off my next purchase coupon so I'm calling it even!

Total Spent August- $32
Total Spent this Quarter- $247.00 (Total Saved $530)
Total Remaining- $3

As always, linking-up as one of Fran's Budgeting Bloggers

Sep 26, 2014

Blogging Besties: Grey Tee

Hey friends! It's time for another Blogging Besties! Last week, Whitney created a cool monochromatic look with a grey blazer, tee, scarf, etc.

I decided to go for a more casual look and passed on the grey tee. I styled it with jeans (pardon the paint splatters--I got paint on them working on our Homecoming float and haven't had the time to replace them) and a chunky sweater for a cooler fall day!

The basic elements of this outfit are a grey tee, a chunky sweater, a pendant necklace, and slip-on shoes! 

Previous Blogging Besties segments:

Your turn, Whitney!

Sep 25, 2014

At Last!

(Semi) fall weather has finally (temporarily) arrived...just in time for the official start of the season!  I celebrated the occasion by pulling-out all of the stops...a scarf, booties and vibrant fall hues!  Well, I guess not all of the stops.  I convinced myself that the tights can wait until it's just a little bit cooler.

I think that this scarf might just be my favorite seasonal transition piece.  It is light enough to wear during the spring and fall.  Plus, it is floral but in darker hues which I think makes it more appropriate for transitioning out of or into cooler weather.

You will be seeing this shirt again next week when I post my September purchases.  I just couldn't resist the warm color or the quilted shoulders.  I can't wait to remix it as the temperatures continue to drop!

Alright, mes amis, I'm off to drink my Pumpkin Spice Latte and peruse the lovely looks over at Skirt Week hosted by my friends Andi and Inge!  (Who am I kidding, I'm off to drink coffee out of my travel mug while teaching those crazy teenagers some French.)  But you should definitely check-out Skirt Week!

What I'm Wearing:
Shirt: Banana Republic (exact)
Scarf: Gift (similar, similar)
Skirt: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Booties: Belk (similar, similar)

Greater Than Rubies and Tucker Up- The Lovely Look Book
Perfectly Coutured and White Coat Wardrobe- Three-fer Thursday
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

Sep 22, 2014

Finally Blogged

You guys, I took these pictures months ago (as evidenced by my longer hair and bangs).  The only excuse I have for not posting them sooner is that I was just more excited about other outfits.  I don't know why, though, because I like how simple and comfy this one was.

I mentioned in my last post that when transitioning to another season, you can either cover-up on the bottom and wear something lighter on top or you can throw on a pair of shorts but wear a shirt with sleeves.  Well, the outfit in my previous post and this ensemble might be the only two times I've tried the latter of the two options.  So, by giving you this tip twice in a row, I'm really trying to remind myself that this is a great option to add variety to my wardrobe.

What I'm Wearing:
Shirt: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Shorts: Old Navy (exact)
Shoes: DSW (similar, similar)

DC in Style- Monday Bloom
Fizz and Frosting- Mix It Mondays
I Do DeClaire- Confident Twosdays
The Modern Austen- Sunday Best
Style Elixir- Style Sessions

Sep 19, 2014

Blogging Besties: Dark Blazer

Happy Friday, friends!  It's me, Whitney, here for the September 19th edition of Blogging Besties!  Last week Alex posted this amazing polka-dotted ensemble:

I so wish that I could have taken that adorable dress to pass on, (Alex, when you are done with it, you know where to send it!) but alas, I do not own such a dress.  Instead I decided to take the dark blazer and pass it on!

Surprisingly, my grey blazer doesn't get as much wear as my pink, green and brown blazers.  I was feeling a little bit stumped about what to do with it.  When in a style rut, where do I turn?  Pinterest of course!  This pin served as my inspiration:

While I can't help but wish that fall weather were here so I can recreate this exact, layered, monochromatic outfit, it is still too warm to wear this in D.C.  So, I decided to put together a transitional ensemble.  I don't know about you, but I often forget that while the weather is changing, I don't have to cover-up on bottom and wear something lighter on top...I can reverse it!  Shorts + layers on top make a great alternative.

The basics: Dark blazer + Grey Tee + Grey Scarf + Black Shorts + Black Flats

Izzo matched so he decided to join the photo shoot.

Previous Editions of Blogging Besties:

Featured On:

What I'm Wearing:
Blazer: JCPenney (similar, similar)
Shirt: Banana Republic (similar, similar)
Scarf: Gift (similar, similar)
Shorts: Old Navy (exact)
Flats: DSW (similar, similar)

Sep 18, 2014

Channeling Zelda

I'm so excited!  I finally have my act together enough to participate in Maricel and Selah's series, Thoughtful Third Thursday!  If you recall from the one and only time I participated in the past, for the T3 challenge I allow my look to be inspired by literature.  Combining my beloved books with fashion?  Don't mind if I do!

This month, "Mandatory High School Reads" serve as the jumping-off point for a book-inspired ensemble!

I have always been fascinated by flapper fashion and I seem to have the roaring twenties on my mind lately.  I am currently reading Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler.  I've only read about a quarter of the book but I'm enjoying this unique perspective of the vivacious Zelda Fitzgerald née Sayre.  Zelda's real-life spunk and the adventures she shared with her husband are fascinating and it's fun to read this fictionalized account of life from her perspective.

So, in honor of Miss Zelda, I have chosen The Great Gatsby as my T3 inspiration this month.  Gatsby was, in my opinion, one of the more enjoyable books that I was required to read in high school.  That being said, I'm not sure that I truly grasped how terribly tragic the story is.  I'm delighted to have read the novel in high school but I also think it is a story to revisit as an adult.

In channeling Zelda, I chose a cocktail shift with twenties-esque beading.  I've worn this little number to a couple of parties before (and most certainly will do again) but I wanted to create a jazzy date night ensemble for this post.  To dress things down and make the sparkles a little bit more wearable, I added some flats and a denim vest.  I think this will be cute with a denim jacket when it gets a little bit cooler!

I'm contemplating dressing-up as a flapper for Halloween!  Do you think this would be a good dress to wear?

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: Old (similar, similar)
Flats: DSW (similar, similar)
Vest: Old Navy (similar, similar)

Sep 16, 2014

A Little Bit About Me

I was recently "tagged" by one of my favorite bloggers, Brynn, from Brynnash to tell you twenty things that you might not know about me.  I found Brynn's video version to be so fun to watch, that I decided to make my own video!  So, if you feel like spending about fourteen minutes with me, here's my video!  If the embedded video isn't working for some reason, here is the Youtube link.

(Gotta love that face I'm making.)

Just in case you don't feel like watching the entire video (I promise I will not be offended), below you will find the questions I've answered with time stamps so that you can jump around.
  1. How tall are you? (0:40)
  2. Do you have a hidden talent?  If so, what? (0:50)
  3. What's your biggest blog-related pet peeve? (1:49)
  4. What's your biggest non-blog-related pet peeve? (2:20)
  5. What's your favorite song? (2:53)
  6. What's your favorite Etsy shop that isn't yours? (3:20)
  7. What's your favorite way to spend your free time when you're alone? (3:49)
  8. What's your favorite junk food? (4:42)
  9. Do you have a pet or pets?  If so, what kind and what are their names? (5:06)
  10. What are your number one favorite nonfiction and fiction books? (6:05)
  11. What's your favorite beauty product? (7:29)
  12. When were you last embarrassed?  What happened? (8:04)
  13. If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be? (10:00)
  14. What's your favorite movie? (10:26)
  15. What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep? (11:00)
  16. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? (11:46)
  17. PC or Mac? (12:17)
  18. Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse? (12:24)
  19. Favorite celebrity? (13:04)
  20. What blogger do you secretly want to be best friends with? (13:38) [Fran]
Alright friends, I'm tagging Alex, Maricel, Selah and Ada.  I want to know a little bit more about you lovely ladies!

Sep 11, 2014

Blogging Besties: Statement Necklace

Hi friends! It's me, Alex, back with another segment of Blogging Besties! Today I'm "passing on" a statement necklace from this look of Whitney's:

I love the bright pop of red in Whitney's look here and how it complements both her shoes and the orange dots in her shirt! I chose to use a statement necklace of my own to dress up this J. Crew dress, along with a blazer: 

Dress: J. Crew
Blazer: Gap
Flats: Charlotte Russe
Statement Necklace: Kieu's (local boutique)

Your move, Whitney! The elements of this outfit are: statement necklace, patterned dress, blazer, and neutral flats!

Previous "Blogging Besties segments:"

Sep 8, 2014

Bad Hair Days and Picture Problems

Do you ever feel bummed when you waste a great outfit on a bad hair day, or is it just me?  I know it's silly but when I wear my favorite pieces from my wardrobe, I want my whole look to be perfect!  Unfortunately, my curly hair has a mind of its own on most days.  I'm trying to convince myself that an adorable dress (like this little ASOS number) should make me feel more confident on unruly curl days instead of feeling like a waste.  Try as I might, though, it can be so hard to overcome mindsets like this. The struggle is real, my friends.

Speaking of struggling, I have been having a hard time getting the quality pictures that I want for this blog lately.  I mentioned in June that I had parted ways with someone who had been a big and important part of my life for a really really long time.  While I absolutely feel that I made a healthy decision for myself, there have also been challenging moments as a result of this major life change.  One of the (albeit more minor) difficulties I have encountered is the loss of my regular blog photographer and the fancy camera.

(An attempt at creative posing.  Maricel, you do this so much better!)

For awhile, I was having girlfriends snap photos of me as we headed out for brunch or happy hour.  While these lovely ladies have never complained, I feel bad asking them to do this so frequently.  Not to mention, I have a self-imposed feeling of having to rush during these situations.  So, I have decided to work on taking these pictures myself...but this is hard.  And as a perfectionist, I feel frustrated with the quality of the photos I'm taking.

(Changing from flats to wedges takes this dress from day to evening.)

For those of you who take your own blog photos (or who have done so in the past), what are your best tricks?  What equipment do you use?  Any suggestions for someone on a pretty tight budget?

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: ASOS (exact)
Flats: Hand-me-downs (similar, similar)
Wedges: France (similar, similar)

DC In Style- Monday Bloom
Greater Than Rubies and Tucker Up- The Lovely Lookbook
I Do DeClaire- Confident Twosday
Pink Sole and Cha Cha the Fashion Genius- #HowIFall
Style Elixir- Style Sessions

Sep 5, 2014

Blogging Besties: Polka Dot Blouse

It's that time of the week again! Yes, yes, time for the weekend...but it's also time for another installment of Blogging Besties-- a "take one, pass it on" challenge between friends!  Last week, Alex of Undergraduate Style, "passed on" a denim vest to create this adorable ensemble:

From her look, I decided to take my version of a polka dotted blouse to pass on.  I've styled this blouse before with dark skinnies so I decided to be a little bit more creative this time around!

I layered the patterned blouse under a structured shift dress for a professional look that I can wear to teach.  The polka dots in the shirt are grey and orange so I threw on a pop-of-color necklace and a pair of heels to pull out the bright hue.

I've only ever layered solid-colored shirts under this dress before so I feel quite pleased with my creativity!  Alright Alex, here's what you have to work with: a patterned blouse, a structured dress, a statement necklace and pop-of-color heels!  Let's see what you've got!

Previous Editions of Blogging Besties:

Featured On:

What I'm Wearing:
Blouse: Target (similar, similar)
Dress: Target (similar, similar)
Necklace: Lia Sophia (similar, similar)
Heels: DSW (similar, similar)

Rachel the Hat and Lena B, Actually- Passion 4 Fashion
Simple Sequins- Fashion Item Friday
Style Elixir- Fridays Fab Faves
Vodka Infused Lemonade- Très Chic Fashion Thursday

Sep 3, 2014

Rocks Box Review #3

I have been subscribing to Rocks Box for several months now and I'm still loving the service!  For those of you new to Rocks Box, it's a designer jewelry rental service.  For only $19 a month, RB will send you unlimited packages of surprise sparklers.  For a full review, check-out my first Rocks Box post.

I love Rocks Box because I feel like a kid on Christmas morning every time I get a new delivery.  It's also really fun to get to wear jewelry that I wouldn't typically be able to afford.  I also think that it ultimately saves me money because I get to rent trendy pieces of jewelry instead of spending more money to buy similar pieces myself.

If you are interested in Rocks Box, I would really love if you would sign-up via my link.  If you do, you will get your first month FREE and I will receive credit towards my account.  Merci beaucoup in advance.

I'm actually a little bit behind in reviewing my current boxes and these are pieces that I received a month or so ago.  I believe I've mentioned before how much I love druzy jewelry so I was absolutely enamored with these earrings.  They were basic enough to wear frequently but with a little bit of sparkle!  The ring was also a fun temporary addition to my jewelry collection.  The necklace, however, wasn't entirely "me" so I didn't wear it too frequently.  But the good news is that I could send the box back whenever I wanted so that my next box would be on its way!

Which of these three items is your favorite?

What I'm Wearing: 
Earrings: Kristine Lilly (exact)
Ring: Matterial Fix (exact)
Necklace: Lotus Jewelry Studio (exact)

Sep 1, 2014

Favorite Summer Dress

I have worn this dress so much this summer that I'm surprised it's making its first appearance on my blog today!  Every season I find that I have one or two pieces in my closet that I'm constantly reaching for, and this dress was a go-to item for me over the past couple of months.

I struggle with summer fashion because, in my opinion, it's just not as much fun as cooler weather fashion.  I find that I'm a lot more creative with my clothes when the temperatures drop because I can play around with layering.  In the summer, it's just too darn hot for layers (with the exception of my favorite denim vest).

I think it's for this reason that I love this dress so much.  The dress has enough going on for it- fun colors, a bold pattern, and a cute fit- that I don't feel the need to add much more to my outfit.  Sure, I'll throw-on a long pendant necklace here or add a brightly-colored pair of flats there, but this dress stands-out on it's own!

What has been your favorite summer piece of clothing this season?

What I'm Wearing:
Dress: ASOS (similar, similar)
Sandals: Target (exact)
Purse: Longchamp (exact)

DC in Style- Monday Bloom
Greater Than Rubies and Tucker Up- The Lovely Look Book
The Modern Austen- Sunday Best
I Do DeClaire- Confident TWOsday
Pink Sole and Cha Cha the Fashion Genius- #HowIFall
Style Elixir- Style Sessions