Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chambray Blazer and Garnet Pants


I'm on the fence about this Loft blazer. I loove the color and the length, but it's a bit small in the waist/arms. I don't button my blazers, so not a huge deal, but I'm afraid I look a little sausaged. Online reviews I read said this blazer ran way too big, so I decided to order a 14. For reference, I'm usually a 16/18 in Loft clothing. It did stretch a bit during the day (I took these photos first thing in the morning), but I'm thinking I should really go up a size. However, a size 16 is no longer available on the website. I can think of so many ways to wear it, it will look great with dresses, skirts or pants. So, do I keep it and hope I lose a little more post-baby fat (I'm working on it) or return it and hope something better is possibly out there?

So, should it stay or should it go? 

Blazer: Loft (exact)
Top: Loft (similar)
Pants: The Limited
Shoes: Madewell (current version)
Watch: Target (exact)
Earrings: Fossil (exact)
Necklace: Shop Something Blue (exact)



I can't believe it's already the last day for the Sarah's Real Life #Top10Remix! Many thanks to Sarah for hosting such a fun challenge. I plan on doing a recap in the next day or two, so stay tuned!

Budgeting note: This blazer didn't arrive until after I had done this month's budget, so if I keep it, it's going in next month's budget. :)



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April Budget

Today I'm linking up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers!

April was the month to spend all the monies! Plus, I spent it all the first half of the month, so it seems like it's taken FOREVER to get to a new month and a new budget.


  1.  Ann Taylor Pearlized Crystal Statement Necklace: $79.50, 50% off at $39.75
  2.  J. Crew Factory Diamond Print Basketweave Dress: $108, on sale for $74.50
  3.  Express Editor Pants: $69.90, 40% off at $41.94
  4.  Loft Blossom Shirred Utility Blouse: $59.50, 50% off at $29.75
  5.  Target Embellished Sandals: $22.99
  6.  Kendra Scott 'Elle' Drop Earrings: $52, 25% off at $39
April Budget $150 - $247.93 in purchases + $75 in clothing sales (ebay) = $172.93


$22.93 over budget

So I went just a smidgen crazy this month. All the good sales got to me, and I spent a little more money than I intended. Thank goodness I sold a blazer on ebay! I'm comforting myself with the fact that I got some nice, quality pieces.

I've been eying this Ann Taylor necklace for months now. There was no way I was going to spend full price on it, and when I got an email coupon for 50% off, I jumped on it. I really like it, but I have discovered that I must have a fat neck, because it sits a lot shorter on me. Not a deal breaker, that's why they make chain extenders. This necklace has a toggle, but I know I can add some chain between the toggle and wear the strands meet. Maybe I'll do a tutorial on that...

I don't wear a lot of dresses, and that's something I want to start doing more of. I feel like this dress is just enough out of my comfort zone to feel like I'm trying something new, but the black and cream print still keeps it professional. I like my dresses and skirts to hit knee length, so it's at the tailor having the hem let down.

I needed more dress pants for work. I have several pairs of cropped pants, but sometimes you just need something a little more dressy. Now with my gray pair of Loft pants, I have two whole pairs, both of which are now at the tailor's being hemmed. #curvygirlproblems

I've been seeing the Kendra Scott drop earrings and tassel necklace all over the blogosphere. A few weeks ago Nordstrom had a sale on most of their Kendra Scott jewelry. I decided the earrings were a nice way to see if I liked them as much in real life as I do online. I love them. They're a nice punch of color and lightweight enough that they do no hurt my ears. Now I really, really want the tassel necklace, and I'm going *try* to hold off until there's another sale. I just can't justify spending $80 on a necklace right now. BUT I WANT IT! Hubby, if you're reading this: Mother's Day gift idea, *hint* *hint*

These sandals from Target are really comfortable and look a lot more expensive than they really are. Got to love Target. I've been wearing them on the weekend nonstop and even experimented wearing with dresses. I love that it's sandal season once again.

With the heat kicking up in Florida, I've been on the look out for thin, light shirts for work wear. I think it will look cute with both skirts and pants and I'm looking forward to styling it!

And now for the pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance: The Clare V. clutch. *swoon*

Every year, after I get my tax refund, I treat myself to one really nice thing. I bought the clutch during the Shopbop sale earlier this month, so it wasn't quite so expensive, but still a splurge. I've loved having something new in the rotation other than the diaper bag and Coach purse. And odd side note, it smells amazing, like leather and yumminess.

That's a wrap! Bring on May and a new month of shopping. :)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Make it Work Monday: Mint and Polka Dots

Raise your hands if you're a self proclaimed Pinterest addict! Ooo, me, me!! I love trolling through the site, looking at all the impossibly cute outfits, plotting my next Pin-tastic meal and getting craft ideas. However, Pinterest can be a bit of a slippery slope for me when it comes to outfit inspiration and body image. I see these amazing outfits on Pinterest, and immediately think, nope that won't work for me, I'm just too big. It's easy to get into a cycle where I compare myself to other women and become envious of their slim physiques and their ability to wear anything. But, then, usually, sanity returns and I work to remember all the great things about my shape. Tatas? Heck, yeah, I gots those. Curves, you bet ya. Instead of thinking of all the cannots, I thought, why not look at what I can do and make work. Surely to be fashionable doesn't mean that you have to be a size 2, but can apply to anyone no matter what their size. To that end, I've decided to try something different on the blog. On Mondays I want to find an obtainable fashion pin and recreate it, but it a way that works for a curvier body shape. Say hello to "Make it Work Mondays."

I decided to start out easy with a pin from J's Everyday Fashion. I just love her style, and the fact that she also recreates outfits from pins and magazines. I found this pin is from women-outfits.com and, sadly, couldn't find her original post.


One of the main things I had to change for me was the tucked-in blouse. I love the look of blouses tucked into pants on other people, but post-baby, that look just doesn't work for me. Ugh, the curse of the lower belly. Or just the belly in general. #thestruggleisreal However, now that I'm looking at this top in pictures, it's a little too short in the torso for me, which is definitely one of the problems I have with J. Crew blouses. I think I either need to tuck it into a skirt, or retire it. Hmmm...

I love bracelets, but it's not realistic to me to wear them on both wrists, so I limited the jewelry to just one. I don't have gold-toe shoes, but after seeing this pin, can I tell you how much I want them? Seriously, so cute. I'm thinking I could easily DIY a pair, or maybe stay on the lookout for an affordable dupe. Also, I've mentioned before that I don't own a lot of handbags, so I carried my new favorite leopard print clutch instead of her larger Michael Kors bag.

So over all, I like today's outfit. I look at the two pictures, and obviously, we look nothing alike, but it was a fun exercise to see if I could take the look and make it work for me. I'm already looking forward to next week's attempt.


Sweater: Loft (similar)
Popover: J. Crew Factory
Pants: The Limited (exact)
Shoes: Old Navy
Earrings: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Necklace: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Bracelets: Baublebar and J. Crew Factory (exact)
Watch: Fossil (similar)
Ring: Baublebar (exact)
Purse: Clare V.


Oh, and if you're following along with the #Top10Remix, I'm rocking the pants from the Challenge. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Short(er) Skirts for Spring


It is already hot and humid in Florida. Solution: raise those hemlines! I planned today's outfit from the dotted shirt from the #Top10Remix, and then tried to find some other items in my closet that haven't seen the love lately. Can't say I'm 100% happy with my creation, but at least it's comfortable. (I say that a lot, don't I?)


Top: Loft (exact currently an extra 60% off)
Sweater: The Limited (similar v-neck)
Skirt: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Shoes: Madewell (love this option)
Necklace: Target
Stackable rings: Chloe and Isabel

I really like this skirt from J. Crew Factory, but I often find myself unsure of how to style it. The elastic is a double-edge sword: comfy around the waist, but the gathered top always throws me off. Do I wear my shirt tucked? Untucked? Half tucked? All of the above? I tend to wear skirts at knee-length, so I'm breaking my own rules a little with the shorter hemline. I wore a similar look with a paler sweater and gray pants a last week ago. Guess if it ain't broke, don't fix it?



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tutorial: How to Roll/Cuff Silky Sleeves


 I love this blouse - the color is the die for, and it's light and airy. However, the sleeves are impossible to roll: they slip-slide and refuse to stay in place. I almost didn't buy this shirt because I knew that the sleeve problem would annoy the heck out of me. Thankfully Nick, the manager at my local Loft, showed me the most glorious cheat on how to tame pesky sleeves.

All you need is two rubber bands.

Silky Sleeve Roll Tutorial 

Grab two rubber bands wide enough to snugly fit your forearm, but not too tight!
 (I didn't have rubber bands handy, so I used elastic hair ties, either will work.)



Take the rubber band a place it about wear you want the sleeve to hit on your arm.


Fold the sleeve up to the elbow.


Take the bottom of the folded sleeve and fold upward, working so the rubber band sits at the base of the cuff. Think: J. Crew fold.


 Fluff the fold a little to get the cuff to look exactly the way you want.

 BOOM. Done.


Easy, right? Sleeves are cuffed and they stay in place all day!

Tutorial aside, I'm wearing the pants from the #Top10Remix. If you aren't familiar, Sarah from Sarah's Real Life is hosting a challenge where you pick 10 things that define you style and wear them throughout the month of April. You can see my posts here.

Top: Loft (exact currently an extra 60% off!)
Pants: The Limited (exact)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar)
Necklace: Charming Charlie's (love this teal and tortoiseshell version!)
Bracelet: J. Crew Factory (exact) and Kreations (similar)
Watch: Fossil (current version)
Ring: Loft (exact currently an extra 60% off)
Sunglasses: J. Crew Factory (exact)


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pattern Mixing

Happy Hump Day (and Earth Day) friends!

With the #Top10Remix Challenge more than half over, I realized I hadn't worn several of my pieces. Solution: wear them all! Today I'm wearing the skirt, stripe top, watch, necklace, earrings AND glitter flats from the Remix Challenge. *whew*

Shirt: Boden (exact)
Skirt: Boden (exact)
Cardigan: Loft (similar)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar)
Necklace: Chloe and Isobel (exact)
Watch: Target (exact)
Earrings: Baublebar (similar)
Ring: Charming Charlie's (similar)

I was kind of worried that this outfit might be overkill, but I think (hopefully), I pulled it off. I am so in love with this skirt, it has a retro "Mad Men" vibe and is such a fun color. Coral and navy is such a pretty color combo, and I like the mix of polka dots and stripes in this outfit. I'm almost always wearing a cardi, cause its freezing in my office, and I threw in the glitter flats to add a little extra fun.

Curvy girl question: do you feel like you have to wear a cardigan anytime you wear a dress or skirt? I hate sleeveless dresses, but even when I'm wearing something that already covers my arms, I feel like I need a cardi to slim down my curves. Pain in the butt during sweltering Florida summers. Maybe one of these days I'll be brave enough to skip the sweater. :)



***Today I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy! Be sure to check out what all the lovely ladies are wearing today.***

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Garnet and Lace

Top: Old Navy
Pants: The Limited (exact)
Shoes: Madewell (current version)
Earrings: Baublebar (similar)
Watch: Target (exact)
Necklace: Shop Something Blue (exact)

I wore this outfit on a day where I knew I had to dress for two different situations. I worked in the morning, so I needed to be somewhat dressed up, but in the afternoon, baby girl had a pre-op appointment (she's getting ear tubes today), so I also needed an outfit that's comfortable for the waiting room and baby friendly.

Solution: lace embellished tee and simple black pants.


The tee is comfy, and I feel like the lace details dresses it up so it's a little more work appropriate (thank goodness for a relaxed dress code!) The pants are easy to wear, and while quite not as comfortable as jeans, they're soft and they work well with flats.

I'm unintentionally wearing three things from my #Top10Remix. I purposely wore the pants since I hadn't worn them yet (though I've worn the navy version of these pants several times). I wanted simple jewelry, since everything goes in baby's mouth, so I stuck with simple studs, my favorite rose gold necklace and Target boyfriend watch. I thew the leopard flats on at the last minute.

So one outfit for two occasions. Hoping all goes with baby's surgery today. I know getting tubes is a pretty standard procedure, and I'm hoping she gets some relief from her recurring ear infections, but I'm still nervous anytime surgery is involved!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Neutrality


It's been gray and dreary for over a week now. (What happened to sunshiny Florida?!) I think in response, I subconsciously decided to match the day with all neutrals. I've had these jeans for awhile and they're super, super comfy, but I've been afraid to wear them. I kept trying them with flats and something just felt off. I think the heels help dress them up and elongate the leg.

I'm fudging it a little with my #10TopRemix.  I included a navy, striped shirt from Boden in the remix, but today I'm wearing a very, very similar shirt, except for the long-sleeves, from J. Crew Factory. My justification is that it's cold in my office and with the rainy weather, short-sleeves just weren't going to cut it.


Shirt: J. Crew Factory (exact 50% off!)
Jeans: Gap (similar)
Shoes: Nine West
Earrings and Necklace: CherisDesigns via Etsy (exact)
Watch: Fossil (similar)
Bracelets: Loft (cute alternative), Kreations (similar)
Purse: Clare V. via Shopbop

I'm thinking this outfit needs a bright pop of color, maybe red heels? Or some colored jewelry, or something to make it a little more exciting. Thoughts?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pastels

 Top: Loft (exact)
Sweater: Target (exact)
Pants: Loft (exact)
Shoes: Nine West (similar)
Necklace: Perry Street Kayla Necklace via Rocksbox
Watch: Fossil (similar)
Bracelet: Loft (exact)

Today's outfit was one that I liked in real life, but it didn't translate well in pictures. I think part of it is that I really need to get these pants hemmed, they look too long and sloppy in pictures. Plus, I didn't bother with a belt, which left me with that dreaded long-crotch look. *shudder* Combined with the extra long cardigan just makes this outfit look super blah to me. I do, however, like the light aqua paired with blush pink. And I feel like I'm having a pretty dang good hair day, so there's that at least. :)

I'm wearing the aqua tee from the #Top10Remix. Aqua/teal/mint are my absolute favorites for both clothing and home decor. And I'm all heart eyes over this necklace from Rocksbox. It's not something I would normally buy (I can't justify the $60+ price tag) but it was fun to tryout for a few days. Use code ERINBFF431 if you want to try Rocksbox for a month free.

  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

All Dressed Up


Funny how something so simple can be perceived as dressy. Today I'm wearing a T-shirt dress. Basically a long tee, practically sleepwear. Nothing fancy, super comfy, but all day people told me how dressed up I look. Maybe it's because I don't often wear dresses? Either way, comfort and looking polished is a win-win in my book. 

Cardigan: Loft (similar)
Shoes: Target (exact)
Necklace: CherisDesigns via Etsy (exact)
Earrings: Baublebar (very similar)
Bracelet: Moorea Seal (similar)
Ring: Charming Charlie's (similar)
Watch: Fossil (similar)
Purse: Clare V. via Shopbop

Today I'm linking up with Sarah from Sarah's Real Life for the #10TopRemix Challenge. I'm wearing the double pearls earrings from my picks. Is it cheating to wear only one item from the Remix AND for it to only an accessory? I need to get more creative with my picks! The weather has been terrible the past few days so taking pictures has been almost impossible. It's so humid and warm in Florida, is it bad that I'm already jonesing for fall?

  

***Today I'm linking up with Sarah's Real Life and The Pleated Poppy. Be sure to check out their blogs to see all the fabulous outfits the linkup ladies are wearing!***