Mar 30, 2016

March Budget

In my January and February Budget post, I mentioned that I was feeling unenthused by much of the clothing featured in my favorite stores lately.  I felt uninspired at the time, but spending so little money in January and February allowed me to splurge a little bit this month!

Here is what I purchased!

Boden Bonnie Studded Flat: Paid $110.40 (Originally $138)
I'm a constant admirer of Boden pieces but, on a teacher's budget, they are usually outside of my price range.  I loved these striped flats from the moment I saw them in the catalog, so when I didn't spend much of my budget during the first two months of the quarter, I was excited to treat myself!  Due to snow, salt and now rain, I haven't gotten to wear them yet but I can't wait!

Gap Utility Jacket: Paid $32 (Originally $88)
At the beginning of the month, a casual fleece and a rain coat comprised my spring jacket collection.  I wanted more of a cute, everyday outerwear look.  This utility jacket in a lovely, feminine hue fit the bill!  I was able to snag it on sale plus I used some Gap Card rewards to really get the cost down.

Gorjana Mae Shimmer Ring: Paid $24 (Originally $43)
I received this ring in one of my Rocks Box sets.  It is the perfect compliment to some other delicate, stackable rings I own so I decided to keep it!  If you are interested in trying Rocks Box (I love it and have been using the service for almost two years), use my code, whitneybff3,  to receive your first month free (and I get some credits, too)!

Total Spent: $247
Total Saved: $186
Total Remaining: $3

I'm really proud of my budgeting and purchases this quarter!  I was very intentional about what I bought and I truly love each of my new pieces.

I will aim to be as careful about my spending for this upcoming quarter.  Some of the items on my wish list are a pretty spring dress (more on that coming soon), a warm-weather chambray dress and items to wear during my birthday vacation to Disney World!

As usual, linking-up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers!
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Mar 28, 2016

Rose Quartz March + Link-Up

Happy Monday, lovelies!  I'm assuming I'm not alone when I say that I'm so ready for spring weather!  The Michigan temperatures are on the rise and the sun is peeking from behind the winter clouds, so I think we are almost there.

When I start craving the warmer weather, I naturally start to gravitate towards the brighter pieces in my closet.  Vibrant hues help me to feel like spring has arrived even when it's still a little bit chilly outside.

Given my desire to wear the brighter pieces in my closet, I decided to use a rose quartz tank top as a base layer for a vibrant, monochromatic pink look.  My denim jacket keeps away the cold will a colorful statement necklace ties the look together.

How have you been wearing rose quartz this month?  I challenge you to wear it with pops of color for a fun spring look!

What I'm Wearing:
Tank Top: I honestly don't remember :) (similar, similar)
Necklace: Gift (similar, similar)
Denim Jacket: Hand-me-down (similar)
Skirt: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Oxfords: DSW (similar, similar)

And now it's time for the weekly link-up!

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Mar 25, 2016

Blogging Besties :: the Shirtdress

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of Undergraduate Style, Maricel of ::My Closet Catalogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile’s Style. Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week’s outfit to pass on in a brand new look. This “take one, pass it on” challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!

Last week, Alex made me drool with envy double time: first, for the snow so prominently displayed in her background and second, for her fabulously crisp and classy ensemble. She thoroughly winter-ized a summery anchor piece with the perfect addition of cozy accessories.

So this week is brought to you by: “a shirtdress, layers, a statement belt, wedges, or a hat”. For your viewing pleasure, I give you: the shirtdress.

Image (24)

According to Wikipedia, the shirtdress is "a style of dress that borrows details from a man's shirt. These can include a collar, a button front, or cuffed sleeves. Often, these dresses are made up in crisp fabrics including cotton or silk, much like a men's dress shirt would be." I do own a frock that matches the aforementioned description exactly, but that would've just been too easy. Instead, then, I offer up an outfit that takes elements of the shirtdress out to play.

Image (25)

Collar? Check. Button front? Yeppers. Cuffed sleeves? How adorable are those "cuffs", I ask you. (The description never specified that they needed to be long sleeves, right?) And I can certify that this top is a decidedly crisp cotton fabric. But it's still not a dress, you say? I submit that the pairing of a high-waisted skirt, whose hue almost perfectly matches the blue stripes of the top, creates the illusion that this entire ensemble is, in fact, a single piece rather than separates. After all, in fashion, deception and visual sleight-of-hand is almost par for the course. Of course, I have to point out that my outfit is in keeping with my still-running-strong 40s obsession. Not only are those cunning eight buttons on the skirt a true take on the iconic sailor trend so prevalent during that era, can we take a moment to squee over those shoes? They're my first pair of Hotter heels, and I don't care if this brand is supposedly geared toward the over 45 crowd. Wearing these babies is like giving gentle hugs for my tired tootsies. They can get pretty pricey, but I got mine on super clearance, and I can totally support a company that prides itself on its excellent quality. Also, Hotter gets bonus points for not outsourcing any aspect of their business. I had to return three of the four pairs I purchased, and I was helped over the telephone by Paul, a lovely customer service rep with the most delicious British accent. Swoon! For Selah's turn next week, I challenge her to the following: stripes, nautical, navy blue, sensible shoes, or a dog. Vive le vendredi!

Image (27)
:: Just the facts, ma’am :: Top – Express Skirt – Chadwick's Heels – Hotter
:: Scream it from the top of your lungs :: Moonglow by Artie Shaw
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Mar 21, 2016

It's Blazer Time Again + Link-Up

It's blazer time again...and you know what that means!  Parent/Teacher Conferences!  I've mentioned before that I like to look a bit more professional than usual for conferences so I often reach for a blazer.

The funny thing is, though, I rarely wear blazers otherwise.  I really like the blazers that I own so I don't know why I don't where them more frequently.  Wearing my blazers will be one of my springtime goals!  Hold me accountable, friends!

In reality, I wore this outfit for conferences a few weeks ago.  It feels kind of funny to post them today because I'm actually on vacation in North Carolina.  Vacation is pretty much the opposite of conferences.  By the time you read this, I will have hopefully spent a lovely weekend with my best friend since 2nd grade, her husband and their new baby!

In other exciting news, guess who I get to see today?!  SELAH!  We are meeting in real life before I head back to Michigan and I'm so excited!  You will see pictures soon!

What I'm Wearing:
Blazer: Banana Republic Outlet (similar, similar)
Windowpane Tee: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Pants: Stitch Fix (similar, similar)
Flats: DSW (similar)
Longchamp: Nordstrom (exact)

And you know what time it is!  Time for the Lovely à la Mode Link-Up!

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Mar 18, 2016

Blogging Besties: Polka Dots

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of Undergraduate Style, Maricel of ::My Closet Catalogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile's Style.  Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week's outfit to pass on in a brand new look.  This "take one, pass it on" challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!

Last week, Whitney wore a lovely casual look with a polka dot shirt layered underneath. I'm fairly sure I have the exact same blouse! Although I did choose to pass on polka dots, I used a different polka dot piece in my closet. I styled this polka-dot shirtdress with black, green, and maroon accents for a layered winter look.

Dress: LOFT, thrifted via Plato's Closet (similarsimilarsimilar)
Cardigan: J.Crew Factory (exactsimilarsimilar)
Belt: Old Navy (similarsimilarsimilar)
Hat: Nordstrom (exactsimilarsimilar)
Wedges: thrifted via Savers (similarsimilarsimilar)

For next week, Maricel can choose to pass on a shirtdress, layers, a statement belt, wedges, or a hat! 
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Mar 17, 2016


Bri's Third Thursday Threads theme "Oversized" couldn't have come at a more perfect time of the year.  I don't know about you other teachers out there, but March is one of the most difficult months to get through.  Waking-up early is a challenge, getting through the school day with a smile on my face is exhausting, and wearing real clothes everyday?  Now that's something that I really don't want to do.  Combine my midyear ennui with a couple of extra pounds gained from snow days spent lounging on the couch and snacking, and all I want to wear are comfy, oversized  pieces.

On this particular day, all I wanted to do was wear leggings to work.  Unfortunately, I don't have any tunics long enough to make leggings appropriate for teaching.  But isn't a swing dress really just an oversized tunic?  I thought so!  And somehow the all black made my practically pajamas ensemble somewhat chic.  I even had a seventh grader tell me that it looked like I had spent hours putting together my outfit.  No no, darling girl, I somehow managed to make this work before my eyes were fully open in the wee hours of the morning.

While I'm thinking about it, though, perhaps I should invest in some nice tunics so that I can wear them to work on difficult mornings.  I'm loving the ones with the feminine embroidery for spring!  Or maybe I should just tell it like it is and wear the one that very accurately describes the current state of my body.  Or I could continue the trend and swear swing dresses as tunics.  What do you think?

What I'm Wearing:
Swing Dress: ASOS (similar, similar)
Leggings: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: Gift (similar, similar)
Flats: LOFT (similar)

Where I'm linking-up!
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Mar 14, 2016

A Fresh Face + Link-Up

Good morning and welcome to the new face of Whitney à la mode!

For several months I've been itching to update the look of my blog.  For almost three years I've been using one of Blogger's templates, which I've enjoyed, but I was ready for my own personal look!  While I'm still a small blog, I'm really proud of how far my little corner of the internet has come and a fresh face is the perfect way to celebrate!  I budgeted and saved so that I could treat myself to an original blog design.

I worked with Angel from Sky and Stars as recommended by my blogging buddy Alex of Undergraduate Style.  Angel was really fun and easy to work with.  I started by filling out a questionnaire about my design desires.  I also provided a Pinterest inspiration board that includes the photos you see in this post plus a few others.  I wanted a simple and clean look with a feminine, fun and whimsical color scheme.

Angel created an original mock-up from which we communicated back and forth until my design looked just the way I wanted!  Having never done this before, I was nervous about being too picky and demanding but Angel was very gracious in working through the little details with me.  There are still a few kinks to work out but we are almost there!

I'm really happy with the new look of Whitney à la mode and I'm feeling reenergized to work hard to make this space something that is fun and that I'm really proud of.  Thanks for following along so far and I'm excited for you to continue being a part of this style journey with me!

And now it's time for our weekly link-up!

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Mar 11, 2016

Blogging Besties: Black and White Print, French and Boyfriend Jeans

Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of Undergraduate Style, Maricel of ::My Closet Catelogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile's Style.  Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week's outfit to pass on in a brand new look.  This "take one, pass it on" challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!

I think that Selah had me in mind last week when she wore this outfit and prompted me with the following choices: black and white print, French, boyfriend jeans or an arm party.  I mean, I am the lover of all things French!

I decided that this week's edition of Blogging Besties would be the moment to break out the most perfect sweatshirt for me...well, almost perfect!  You see, how could I resist wearing an "À la mode" sweatshirt on Whitney à la mode?  But wait!  There is a spelling mistake on the sweatshirt that drives my French teacher self absolutely crazy!  Can you spot it?  Come on, Banana Republic, how about a little proofreading?!

Looking to add some fun French pieces to your closet?  Être Cecile has bunches of cute tops!  I am one online shopping spree away from purchasing the Voilà sweatshirt and how cute is the No Way Rosé tee?  While I'm at it, I also might need that French Toast purse...or the donut purse.  I don't know but I'm starting to feel hungry for breakfast foods!

Alright Alex, here are your choices of pieces to pass on next week: something not quite right, a sweatshirt made dressy, polka dots and pearls or distressed jeans!

What I'm Wearing:
Sweatshirt: Banana Republic (similar, similar)
Shirt: Express (exact)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Flats: LOFT (similar)

Where I'm linking-up!
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Mar 7, 2016

Little Changes + Link-Up

Before I got into reading personal style blogs, I would wear one clothing item only one particular way.  Take a shirt, for example.  I would wear said shirt with the same pair of pants, same necklace and same pair of shoes every.single.time.

Remixing has definitely been the biggest lesson I've learned in being more creative with what I've got hanging in my closet.  One thing that I still have to remind myself of, though, is that remixing doesn't have to be drastic.  You can make little changes to create an entirely different outfit.

Let's compare the above outfit to this outfit, for example.  Essentially, each outfit consists of jeans and the same lace top.  I think they both have a casual yet slightly more glamorous feel (perfect for a date night)!  But a different glitzy necklace, different colored denim and different shoes make for a completely different outfit without much extra effort.

Which lace look do you like better?  And what's your favorite little change that helps to create an entirely different look?

What I'm Wearing:
Shirt: LOFT (similar, similar)
Tank: Old Navy (exact)
Necklace: c/o Rocks Box (similar)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Flats: LOFT (similar, similar)

And now it's time for our weekly Lovely à la Mode Link-Up!

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Mar 4, 2016

Blogging Besties: Artificial Silk

Last Friday, Maricel threw me for a loop by going retro and leaving me these prompts: "pearl earrings, silk, tassels, or red." I'm convinced she did it on purpose to mess with me. 😜 I don't own any silk, but I do have a silk-y blouse with a fun French graffiti print. So, I present artificial silk (aka rayon).


I don't usually pair loose, flowy tops with boyfriend jeans, because it can look sloppy. The ballet flats and bling-y bracelets dress it up enough to make it work. Thank goodness for the unseasonably warm weather we've had lately, or I'd never have gotten away with going sleeveless!  Up next week, Whitney can choose from: Black & White print, French, boyfriend jeans, or an arm party.
Top: Torrid (exact)
Boyfriend Jeans: Jennifer Lopez via Kohls (Similar)
Ballet Flats: dexflex comfort via Payless (exact)
Arm Party: various (similar, similar)
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties
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Mar 2, 2016

Currently: March 2016

wishing: and praying for my aunt's peace.  I'm not sure how to go about talking about this on my blog that is mostly about carefree fashion and smiling outfit photos.  Several weeks ago, my beloved Aunt Ninie experienced a ruptured brain aneurysm.  Her recovery at this stage is very uncertain.  Aunt Ninie is one of the brightest, kindest, most generous people I know.  I'm having a really difficult time wrapping my brain around this healthy, lively woman being okay one minute and in critical condition the next.  It's actually been difficult to function at work and in life while my mind has been with her.  Given the uncertainty of her condition, I am wishing and praying for her to feel at peace.  If you don't mind sending positive thoughts, vibes and prayers her way, I would be very grateful!  Photo credit: Pocket Fuel.

craving: bright colors!  Having been so worried about my aunt and being sick of cold, dreary winter, I'm ready for some bright colors. From my manicure to my excitement for spring fashion, bring on the color!  Manicure credit: Cristi of Plenty of Polish.

going: to North Carolina.  My best friend since second grade had her first baby in February.  Her growing family lives in North Carolina so I'm taking a long weekend later this month to visit her and meet the little one.  I'm ready for some baby snuggles, friend time and (hopefully) some sunshine!  Throwback Wednesday(?): to when said best friend and I were cheerleaders.

wearing: ponté pants.  I don't know about the rest of you teachers, but this time of the school year is the hardest to survive.  I have a hard time finding the motivation to wear real clothes, which doesn't really jive with the teaching gig.  I'm finding ponté pants to be the comfy answer to my clothes dilemma.  Ponté Pants: Gap.

learning: about proficiency-based language learning.  As a teacher, there are always ways to improve your craft.  I've been shifting the way I think about teaching French to focus on what the students can truly do with the language and want to design my instruction around this idea.  Actfl.

Linking-up with Anne and Jenna.
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Mar 1, 2016

What I Love About Shopbop

If you click the links in my blog posts, you may have noticed that I've been working with Shopbop for the last couple of months.  If perusing personal style blogs is your hobby, you are probably familiar with Shopbop.  If you haven't heard of it before, let me get you started!

Shopbop, to me, is a cross between a style magazine and a clothing search engine.  The website features some of the hottest fashion designers and brands.  If you are curious about the season's "in" looks, you can head to their Trend Boutique where you can currently find 2016's Top Spring Trends.  On top of providing you with the latest in fashion inspiration, you can also use Shopbop to search for the missing pieces in your closet.  For example, need a pair of pink shoes?  Type "pink shoes" into the search bar and voilà, lots to choose from!  By the way, I didn't know I needed a pair of pink espadrilles until doing this search.  Check them out and let me know what you think!

Another great thing about Shopbop is they only carry really nice, quality brands.  Granted, many of the pieces cost more than I am able to pay.  But as I approach the big 3-0, I am acknowledging the merit in purchasing quality, classic pieces on which to build my wardrobe.  As a teacher, I won't ever be able to purchase my entire wardrobe from Shopbop but I can buy the staples!

Have I convinced you to visit Shopbop yet?  Well I'm not quite done, I have some good news!  They have a big sale starting today!  If you have been thinking about investing in a quality item for you closet, now would be the time.

I have been planning to use my Shopbop credits to purchase a nice watch!  I have especially been loving Kate Spade's watch collection but I need help deciding which one to buy.  Here are a few of my favorites.  Leave a comment below and let me know which one you like best!

Before you dive into the sale, make sure to check-out the details and exclusions!

Have you ever shopped with Shopbop before?  What would you like to purchase from the sale?  And don't forget to help me choose a watch!

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