Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Budget


March Budget: $188.75
Quarter budget $600 - $232.44 in January - $248.81 in February - $267.47 in March =

$78.72 over :(

Not exactly the best start to the first quarter budget of the year. I realized about halfway through the month that I was going to blow it. I didn't intend to, but it got so stinking hot in Florida and I realized none of my shorts or tees fit anymore, so I bought a few things (like these shorts and this tee and this one) that I originally thought I could hold off another month on purchasing. That's what you get when you buy all the fun stuff before the practical - blown budgets. :) I'm still really happy with my purchases, so I'm not too upset about being spendy.

Here's a breakdown of what I bought:

Loft split neck tunic (see how I wore it here)
I saw this in the store and fell in love with the deep rose color and flattering neckline. I got this in a L and it probably runs a little big. I'm in between shirt sizes at the Loft, so I'm finding it harder to judge sizing. Some larges from Loft fit, some don't. This one does. :)

I got this pretty black eyelet dress to wear to a work function after realizing last year's black dress was too big. The front of the dress hits right above the knee and the back is maybe an inch longer. I love the full short-sleeves (as opposed to the dreaded cap-sleeves) and the eyelet actually makes the black feel springy. For reference, I got it in an XL. The J. Crew midi dress was such a ridiculously good deal (over 75% off the original price!), I felt like I couldn't pass it up. I took a risk with it being final sale, but I think it's my favorite purchase this month! The deep green is color I don't have a lot of in my closet, it's super comfortable with the elastic waistband - but still looks dressy - and the knee-high side slits, v-neck and perforated pattern keep it from looking dowdy. It's still available in sizes 00 and 16, so if you're one of those sizes, I highly recommend it! 

J. Crew Factory flannel button-down (see a sneak peak of it here) and J. Crew Factory dot sweater (see a sneak peak of it here)
I got this pretty green plaid button-down and embroidered dot sweater when the weather was still tricking me into thinking spring was going to hang around awhile longer. I got both in an XL and think they fit true to size for J. Crew Factory. I'm a little sad I'm probably not going to get to wear them again for a long time, but I guess it'll be like getting something new this fall!

J. Crew Factory linen lace T-Shirt (see how I wore it here),  J. Crew Factory embroidered-front T-shirt and Loft Bermuda roll shorts
I picked up both the white linen tee and navy embroidered tee once the warm weather hit. J. Crew Factory is killing it right now with their dressy tees! (I have a serious case of the wants for quite a few of their shirts right now.) I think the two I purchased are perfect for work and can easily be dressed down with shorts or jeans. I got both in an XL and think they fit true-to-size. The navy embroidered tee is so soft and I love the contrasting embroidery on the yoke. The white linen tee is light and breathable and the lace detailing elevates it from being a plain, boring white tee. As for the Loft shorts - I tried on all two pairs of shorts I own, and neither one fit anymore - so even though I'm not a fan of shorts, I knew I needed a replacement. As far as shorts go, these pink Bermuda shorts really aren't that bad! They hit right a few inches above the knee, are a fantastic color, and they flatter different body types. My step-mom bought these shorts and she's a completely different shape than me - tall with slender legs - and they look fabulous on her! Mine are a 14 and I think they run a little large, since they stretch a little as you wear them.

J. Crew Factory pencil skirt in double-serge cotton (see how I wore it here)
After falling in love with this skirt on Jean, I included it in my latest J. Crew Factory order. The bright aqua color is absolutely gorgeous in real-life! I wasn't sold on the fit at first and worried I looked too "hippy," since the skirt flares out a bit, and the pockets emphasize the hips. But after letting it sit around for a few weeks, I finally decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did! It's definitely something different in my closet, one of my favorite colors, and skirts with pockets are quickly becoming my new fav. And while I still think it makes me look a bit wide in the hips, the little bit of flare does gives a little more definition to my waist. Bigger hips = smaller waist? The cotton is nice and light, but unfortunately it does wrinkle during the day. I love the color enough to forgive the wrinkles, but it is worth noting. I got this in a 16 and probably could have gone down a size, it runs a little big. I also love the coral color in comes in, so maybe I'll have to try it in a 14. :)

Well, that's my haul for the month. Next month starts a new quarterly budget, and hopefully this time around I can stay on track and on budget!

//  I'm linking up with Franish and the Budgeting Bloggers!  //

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

On Wednesday We Wear Pink


After a few weeks of hot, humid days, Florida decided to surprise us with cool temps and rain just in time for Easter. But, hey, I'm not complaining, it was one last chance to wear a few light sweaters and scarves before packing them away for winter.

Sadly (for me at least) spring summer is back in full-force, but I have a game plan (see original post here) for how I plan to survive the next seven months (somewhat) stylishly. I really think I might just live in the wrong place, I relished our few cool days, but everyone else complained about the weather and wanted it to be warm again. Maybe I should become a like one of our many snowbirds - Michigan in the summer, Florida in the winter - sounds about perfect to me. :)

So I bid adieu to my beloved sweaters and scarves, I'll longingly remember you in the months to come. Especially this lovely soft pink one, whose color really is perfect for spring, if only the temperature would cooperate!

 Sweater: J. Crew (exact in other colors)
Pants: The Limited (exact)
Shoes: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Scarf: Charming Charlie (gorgeous alternative)
Earrings: Reeds (exact, inexpensive similar)
Watch: Fossil (exact)
Bracelet: Bourbon and Boweties (exact)
Ring: Loft (similar)

Random side note: I finally managed a fishtail braid that looks halfway decent, so I had to share a closeup. :) Messy, but not too much, a nice tight braid, but still has fullness, no frizz - it's probably the one and only time I'll get it to look so nice. My husband has the most glorious, insanely thick almost black hair without and single grey hair (and the man's 41!). I had high hopes that our kiddo would get his hair, but sadly it's looking like she got my mess, so I better learn how to master braids and such so I can use my skills on her hair - if I can get her to sit still long enough to do anything with it. Getting a toddler to sit still is like finding a unicorn in a forest - impossible. :)


//  I'm sharing on The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore.  //

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Summer Survival Guide

Skirts: pink pleated midi, navy stripe midi, polka dot midi, teal pleated midi, aqua pencil skirt (have and love!)   |   Dresses: gray tee, floral tee, dot chambray, teal dotted, aqua lace, stripe tunic   |   Shirts: blue popover, white lace yoke (have and love), navy lace tee (have and love), aqua crew-neck tee, pink v-neck tee, navy stripe tee (have and love), octopus graphic tee, chambray (have and love)  |  Shortsjean, pink Bermuda (just bought - so, so cute!), navy lace)  |  Light layers: kimono cardigan, gray cardigan, cream cardigan (have and love), pink cardigan  |  Accessories: sunglasses, navy print tote, cognac strappy sandals (have very similar), saddle bag, canvas clutch, rose gold flip flops, neutral wedges

With the exception of the past few days, it has been so.stinking.hot in here in Florida. Forget spring, we jumped right into summer with 80 degree temps and lots of humidity. Which has gotten me in a bit of a panic, since my closet leans heavily toward fall/winter and most of my summer clothes no longer fit. So, I decided to do a little outfit planning to figure out how in the world I'm going to survive spring summer. Because if it's this hot already in March, I cringe to think what July and August are going to be like.

My game plan - lots of breezy skirts and dresses, light tops, sandals for days, and light-weight layers for the AC. I have some of these items, pretty much WANT everything I don't have, and know a few of them will eventually make their way to me (hello - gorgeous pink and polka dot midis!) And as always, my love for J. Crew, J. Crew Factory and Loft runs deep...

SKIRTS


Skirts - Can I just say I pretty much WANT everyone.single.one. of these skirts. I love midis for the summer because they're nice and airy and breathe. They're perfect for work with a cute wedge sandal, or can be dressed down for the weekend with a pair of cute strappy sandals. I did throw in the aqua pencil skirt because it isn't quite as fitted as some of my other pencil skirts and the cotton feels comfortable and light.

DRESSES


Dresses - I'm all about dresses in the summer. You don't really have to think about it - just throw one on, grab some sandals and a necklace - and done. I tend to stick to dresses with sleeves since I don't like to show my upper arms and don't want to have to wear a cardigan when it's 100+ degrees outside. I threw two longer-sleeve options into the mix, which are nice in the blisteringly cold air conditioning and you can just roll the sleeves up when outside. I'm especially enamored with that fun dotted chambray dress!

SHIRTS & TEES


Shirts - My rule about sleeves with dresses also applies here, so I stuck to short-sleeve options or sleeves that can easily be rolled up. I love tees that have a little extra details - like lace or a pretty pattern - which makes them look more dressed up than a plain tee. Though those can be great too, which is why I included bright pink and aqua options. Plus you can't go wrong with a chambray shirt - I swear they go with everything - and that blue popover is everything. Want so bad.

SHORTS


Shorts - I hate shorts, I hate, hate, hate them, but they are a necessary evil. It's just to darn hot here in the summer for pants, and as much as I love skirts and dresses, sometimes it's nice to be a little more casual (and not have to worry about your skirt blowing up in the wind). I just picked up the pink Bermuda rolls shorts and they are so cute in real-life - super comfy and hit above the knee, so they don't look matronly. I love a good jean short - the thicker material doesn't ride and they pretty much go with everything. Lace shorts are out of my comfort-zone, but I tried these on in the store and they were super cute. Short, but not excessively so, and the navy helped tone down the whole - hey I'm wearing lace shorts - look at me thing.

LIGHT LAYERS



Light Layers - Seems like when it's miserable hot outside, it's FREEZING inside. Hello, AC over-compensation. I always keep a light cardigan around to throw on inside and immediate strip off as soon as I hit the outdoors. I have - and love - the cream Clare cardigan and would love to add a fun color (like pink) into the mix. The long gray cardigan would go with everything from shorts to dresses and the kimono cardigan looks so perfectly casual. Definitely want to check that one out in real-life.


ACCESSORIES



Accessories: A much as a hate shorts, I LOVE sandals. If I could, I wear them forever and always, even in the winter. I like the idea of a more dressed up wedge to wear with skirts and dresses, strappy sandals that go with everything, and lovely rose gold sandals for a more casual look. A tote bag is a must for beach day or just for everyday errands, and I like that the canvas clutch can be dressed up or down. I'm so excited this crossbody bag is back in stock, it's the perfect day-to-day bag. I just picked up the tortoise shell sunglasses to replace my recently broken aviators, and I love them! They're a bit different with a slight cat's eye, slightly retro and fun!
Whew, that's it. Now, who wants to buy me all these lovelies for my closet? :)  I'm thinking that lovely blue popover, pink midi skirt, polka dot midi skirt, kimono cardigan and fun wedges might just have to make their way to me in the coming months...ooo...and maybe those rose gold sandals and patterned tote as well.  I have a shopping problem for sure...

And a good outfit planning post wouldn't be complete without some outfit planning, so for funsies, I put a few look together to show how great all these pieces would mix and match. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Thoughts and Whatnots 3.27.16

Aqua obsessed:  one  |  two  |  three

Blog Love:
  • Oh my gosh, I love everything about Kendi's look: the stunning read lace dress paired with the most perfect cognac wedges and tote...in a field on tulips! My favorite flower, I wish we had a tulips fields were I live. Serious photo shoot envy.
  • We have plans to go to Michigan this summer for my grandparents 65th wedding anniversary and I'm super nervous about having my 2-year-old on a plane...I'm so glad Anne shared her top 10 toddler travel gear, I know I'll be using it!
  • Love Merrick's chambray dress and Keds...so comfy and chic!

On Teal and Polka Dots:
  • On the blog: I may have had Little Bit almost two years ago, but I'll still rock a maternity dress. Is that bad, or just awesome food-baby camouflage?
  • On Instagram: Holding up the wall (aka cheesy outfit posing).
  • On Pinterest: I want to make this gorgeous maxi dress so badly, I even went so far as to order the prettiest fabric. Now to actually make the thing...so nervous...

Favorite Sales:

Personal:
  • What I'm listening to: Pete Yorn's new album Arranging Time on repeat and anxiously awaiting Fitz and the Tratrums new self-titled album to release on June 10. Love their new single Handclap, so peppy and fun!
  • What I'm crushing on: This pink-on-pink outfit with deep rose pants and blush pumps. A little Loft shopping could make it happen with their Marisa skinny pants and soft-blush suede-like pumps. Those shoes may just have to be mine. Love, love, love!
  • What I'm watching: My husband made me watch Pee-wee's Big Holiday on Netflix. It was my first Pee-wee experience, and I have to say, confused sums up how I feel about it. So random. So odd. Though anything with Joe Manganiello can't be all bad.
  • What I'm looking forward to: Easter! I hope everyone has a lovely day today with family and friends. We're going to church this morning among the rain showers and puddles (I got Little Bit the cutest navy rain boots to match my Hunters - we're wearing them with our dresses :)), then having a pizza party with grandma!
  • Coming up on the blog: It's already a million degrees in Florida and tomorrow I'm sharing my outfit game-plan for how I plan to survive the spring summer.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

One Year Ago Today: Purple T-Shirt Dress




I love Fran's One Year Ago Today features and seeing how her style has evolved. Now that I've consistently blogged for a year, I've decided to "borrow" her idea and an show one of my outfits from almost year ago and today. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

I few things I've learned about myself in the past year: 1. I only know about three poses (just look at the pic above, a complete accident that it was an identical pose) 2. I have an addiction to cognac sandals (well, cognac anything) and 3. In real-life I'm a super boring dresser, wearing the same outfit over and over with only small changes (again, see above).

All that being said, I still love this this purple T-shirt dress, even if I can only think of one way to style it. It's actually a maternity dress, but it's so comfy and easy to wear, I just can't bear to part with it. All that side rouching is perfect for food babies, so it still works, right?

Dress: Old Navy maternity (similar non-maternity, similar non-maternity plum)  //  Sandals: Loft (similar)  //  Necklace: Loft (similar)  //  Earrings: Reeds (exact, inexpensive alternative)  //  Bracelets: Bourbon and Boweties (exact) and Hope Loren (exact)  //  Watch: Fossil (exact - on sale!)  //  Ring: Pandora (exact)


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//  Sharing on the Pleated Poppy for What I Wore.  //

Monday, March 21, 2016

Make it Work Monday: Aqua Pencil Skirt

This is the skirt that almost didn't happen. After falling in love with it on Jean, I included it in a embarrassingly large J. Crew Factory order I placed earlier this month. The color is absolutely gorgeous in real-life, but I wasn't sold on the fit. I thought it made me look too "hippy" and that the pockets put too much emphasis on my hips and stomach. Do you have one of those days where everything you try on is a no? I was definitely having one of those days when I first tried this skirt. After a few weeks procrastination, I finally got around to packing up returns when the happy, aqua color sucked me in again ... so, so pretty ... so I tried it on again and I swear it looked completely different. Hippy, sure, but it also made my waist look smaller, and the pockets seemed fun instead of obnoxious. It was a "yes" day instead of a "no" day. So to make sure it wasn't a fluke, I went on Pinterest to find some fun ways to style it and decided to wear it on a trial run to work (in full disclosure I left the tag tucked into my skirt, just in case. Am I the only one who does that? How are you supposed to know if you like something unless you actually wear it?).

I'm so glad I decided to give it a try! I originally wore this outfit last week and got compliment after compliment. Everyone loved the color, the fit, and wanted one for themselves...so there might be a lot of people running around my workplace in the same happy, aqua skirt. Works for me. :) I made sure to take outfit photos that day, but it was super windy and sadly they didn't turn out, but you can see selfie snap of it on Instagram. So I recreated the outfit exactly how I wore it for today's photos (excuse the over-grown grass and rose trees, I mean bushes). 


Pinspiration:  
one  |  two  |  three  |   four  
five  |  six  |  seven  |  eight

Skirt: J. Crew Factory (exact)  //  Shirt: J. Crew Factory (exact)  //  Shoes: J. Crew Factory (exact)  //  Necklace: Loft (similar)  //  Watch: Fossil (exact on sale!)  //  Bracelets: Bourbon and Boweties (exact pearl, almost identical aqua stone)  //  Earrings: Reeds (exact, inexpensive similar)   

I'm so happy with my new skirt, I ripped off the tags, and am wearing it again today in a look similar to the third outfit pinspiration. Pink + tan + aqua = new favorite color combo. I also snagged Jean's green and blue plaid button-down, so I'll probably be shamelessly copying her in the very near future.

It's worth noting that this skirt does tend to wrinkle, especially after sitting in it all day. A quick iron would fix it, but I'm super lazy, so I threw it in the dryer for a few minutes with a damp washcloth. As you can see in these photos, most of the wrinkles came out and it didn't shrink.


Shop the Look:
Join me for Make It Work Monday! The rules are simple
  1. Link up an outfit that is inspired by a Pinterest pin, a fellow blogger, magazine or other muse,
  2. link to your specific blog post, not your blog's main page, 
  3. pretty please link back to me and
  4. visit/comment on some other posts for inspiration and encouragement.
I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with! And go...!!


//  Sharing on Franish, Walking in Memphis and
The Fashion Canvas for the Trend Spin Linkup and Sydney the Fashion Hunter.  //

An InLinkz Link-up



Sunday, March 20, 2016

Thoughts and Whatnots 3.20.16

Put a bow on it: one  |  two  |  three
 
Blog Love:
  • Love all the "oversized" looks on Brianna's Third Thursday Threads linkup
  • I've been thinking about fashion trends I just can't get on board with (and contemplating doing a "I Literally Just Can't" post.. ) and lo and behold Merrick's kind of beaten me to it with Trends to Ditch. So on point. 
  • I would never had thought to pair lilac and rust, but Tara makes it look so lovely together!

On Teal and Polka Dots:

Favorite Sales

Personal:
  • What I'm reading: I just finished If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins, and it was so, so good. By far one of the best books I've read in a long time. It's a lovely story about the relationship between two sisters and a funny, poignant look at marriage and family. I stayed up until almost 2 a.m. to finish it and immediately went in search of her other books, but was so disappointed to learn that the rest are straight romance. Apparently "If You Only Knew" is her transition from romance to women's fiction, so I guess I'll just have to anxiously await her next book.
  • What I'm watching: Not as much these days since our cable finally cut off after canceling it almost a year ago. Thank goodness for Netflix!
  • What I'm crushing on: Once it starts to warm up I get the itch to do something fabulous with our little postage stamp-sized backyard, and this year is no exception. I'd love a pair of these gorgeous navy Adirondack chairs under this nautical stripe umbrella on our brick patio. And maybe some fun string lights (this is kind of what I envision, it's a very similar space to what I'm working with). All the backyard dreams that never come to fruition...
  • What I'm looking forward to: Easter! I got the most ridiculously cute glittery eggs to take for little bit's Easter egg hunt at daycare (buy one, get one 50% off) and I love the pretty stripe dress I found for her to wear Easter Sunday.
  • Coming up on the blog: Monday is the Make it Work Monday and the return of the linkup!! (Simply share an outfit inspired by Pinterest, blogger, or other muse.) I also have a post in the works about my survival plan for the summer (which has unfortunately made a very early appearance in north-Florida).

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Third Thursday Threads: Oversized

The oversized trend looks so good on other people, but I think it just looks off on me. As a curvier girl, I prefer my clothes to be a bit more structured. So, when Brianna announced "oversized" as the theme for this month's Third Thursday Threads, I was momentarily stumped on what to wear, but thankfully remembered this fun tunic with big, oversized polka dots. I've worn it a few times on the blog with some type of color - yellow sweater, red pants or olive green jacket - and wanted to try a more neutral look, which I shamelessly adapted from Fran. She totally wore it better, it's adorable on her but I feel all kinds of blah in these photos. A long night up with kiddo didn't help. Under eye bags and pasty faces need bright pops of color for distraction. :)


Pants: The Limited (exact)
Cardigan: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Shoes: Madwell (exact in limited sizes)
Necklace: Loft (fun alternative)
Watch: Fossil (exact)
Bracelet: Moorea Seal (similar)
Earrings: Reeds (exact, inexpensive similar)



Polka dot tunic: one  |  two  |  three  |  four

After wearing this top a few different ways, I think the trick to make it work for my frame is to either have it partially tucked in with pants (look three) or a full tuck with a skirt (look two). Still fun and oversized, but not shapeless. This whole getting dressed thing it's definitely a learning process...


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//  Sharing on Work Clothes I Suppose for Third Thursday Threads .  //