Monday, March 4, 2013

things worth addressing

One of the best things I read this week was this post by Lynette.  A lot of days, I don't feel like posting pictures because I don't feel like I look perfect and so many of the style bloggers I follow look wonderful and perfectly put together in all of their outfit posts.  It was relieving to see someone address that sometimes the struggle is real. What was more relieving was seeing the comments on the post - so many of the bloggers that I follow and head tilt in wonder at, expressed similar feelings.  As sappy as it sounds, it's nice to see a community of women who aren't afraid to share these kinds of issues and I'm so thankful to Lynette for writing the post.

So here's to hopefully updating a little more frequently and not sweating the small things like breakouts, being bloated or wondering if everyone's judging how big my thighs are.

On another note,  I was featured by the lovely Ada of Elegance Personified for her Week's Best Looks post.  I love reading these at the beginning of the week and am so grateful to her for featuring me.  You can check out all of Ada's favorites from last week here.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

but I love polka dots!

top | old navy (recent, last seen here), skirt & belt | target (spring '12), booties | payless (fall '10)

I love, love, love polka dots and am hoping to expand from that in March. This shirt is pretty sheer so I wore a black H&M knit top that I thrifted underneath to cover up.

Are there any patterns or colors that you might love too much?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

give me spring!

sweater | old navy
skirt | h&m

So I actually wore this with leggings because brrrrr - it's still cold here, but of course I forgot to snap some pictures before I took my leggings off.  But here's a preview of what I'm most excited for in March: weather warm enough for me to go with bare legs all the time.

Spring, you can't come soon enough.

Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday.

Monday, February 18, 2013

welcome to the red jungle

cardigan & blouse | old navy
skirt | thrifted
tights | target

I really liked this outfit while taking pictures of my latest thrift finds so I pulled a cardigan and tights on to winterize it.

Fun fact: anytime I wear anything animal print, I think of Welcome to The Jungle, but now anytime I wear red I start singing "loving him was red," in my head.  So this is a little Guns 'n Roses/Taylor Swift mashup via outfit today.

Linking up with Thrifters Anonymous today!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

chocolate and caramel

button up | brooks brothers, silk skirt | thrifted
necklace | versona accessories
I was meandering through Target on Friday (clearance Valentine's Day candy is a personal priority) and was so surprised when I saw that they had marked down all of their tights.  I looked through some of the different color options because at $3.50, I can justify most "edgy" colors but ended up grabbing this brown pair and a pair of mint colored ones.

I've worn this skirt before with a light blue button up and liked that version of this outfit a bit better but I do really like this necklace with the skirt.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and is enjoying Valentine's Day candy as much as I am :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

valentine's copycat

I love Valentine's Day mostly because I'm a huge fan of 50% off candy the day after but this year I was so excited about it that I ended up wearing two Cupid inspired outfits.

blouse | thifted, jeans | old navy

I have tried so hard to make these red polka dot jeans work but they don't fit right and I've struggled with how to style them.  These may be leaving soon.

I'm linking up today with Carly and Mary for Copycat Thursday.
inspiration | j. crew
It was far too cold for bare legs or a lightweight top so I changed things slightly but love this outfit for Valentine's Day.

sweater | ralph lauren via tj maxx, skirt | thrifted, tights | kohl's

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

wheelin' and dealin'

I hadn't planned on going thrifting, but suddenly my car took me and I'm pretty pleased with the results!

floral printed silk turtleneck | talbot's
 Love the thought of this with black dress pants and a solid neon scarf!

coral silk pencil skirt
This skirt is 100% silk and I could not pass on it.

cream pencil skirt | talbot's
I am obsessed, head over heels in love with this skirt guys.  I really do love the way it looks over my black lace dress and it's looked so beautiful with the pieces in my closet that I've tried it on with.

pencil skirt | talbot's
I've been all about jewel tones recently (my whole life) so this is a step outside of what I'd usually go for.  This hue feels more muted to me but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this shade once I tried it on.

And I love the way these Talbot's skirts fit me as well.  Not sure I love them enough to start paying full price for them, but I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for them in future thrifting adventures.

red pencil skirt
I promise this skirt and the coral skirt are definitely different shades in person and I'm thrilled about them both since I didn't own any red skirts or shorts before this.

skirt (includes belt) | target
Funny story about this skirt: Target released these last spring and I bought two very similar and then forced myself to wait before buying any more.  When I decided that I did want another, they were sold out of my size.  So when I found this one with the tags still on, I got really excited and decided to try it on despite it being an extra small.

Nothing is more forgiving than a skirt that features elastic and buttons.  The pink belt is gorgeous and I am crazy about the color of the skirt (yay jewel tones!).

skirt | the limited
I own so much black but this skirt is a different length than the other black skirts I own.

skirt recap

The absolute best thing about all of these items? They all cost $3 and as you can see from the pictures - they all match items already in my closet. For the longest time, I thought that thrifting was a skill that I couldn't possess and now I find myself going to look through racks when I get bored.

Linking up with Shanna today!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

circle circle dot dot

button up | lands' end - similar, sweater | old navy
skirt | thrifted, tights | charlotte russe - similar
jacket | forever 21
I'm working on expanding my personal style and so one of the things I'm trying to do is not style pieces in the same manner all the time.  For example, this sweater is new and my first thought was to pair it with my mint pants.  I always think sweaters need to be worn with pants and so I started looking at my skirts. I love this one that I thrifted ($3!!), but it's a little big on me so it sits lower than it was originally designed.  Once I pulled the sweater on over the skirt it looked fine.  I decided to layer and worried that the pink might be too much color, but ended up really liking the pop it gives to the outfit.

And for the sake of consistency - polka dot tights, probably my favorite "trendy" item that I've purchased recently.

Linking up with Molly and Carly for #YOLOMonday

Saturday, February 9, 2013

cobalt and baby blue

knit | forever 21, cardigan | costco, pants | h&m

This knit top shrank just enough to look strange with these pants so I located this cardigan and pulled on some mint jewels to make a consistently bright outfit.  The pyramid bracelet is one I've had for awhile but still had the tags on because I hadn't worn it yet; it looked fun with the rest of this outfit and is something I'd wear again

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Old Navy Cash

Before I went on the 30 for 30 shopping hiatus, I spent way too much money on clothes in December (not a new or interesting tidbit, but I'm really bad at saying no to sales) and ended up getting Old Navy Cash that conveniently activated right at the beginning of February.  I waited until the last day to use it and then went shopping for the first time since Christmas Eve.

Here's a look at what I got:
lightweight patterned shirt in black gingham | $24. 94 online, $15 in stores

lightweight patterned shirt in green gingham | $24. 94 online, $15 in stores
With the coupon, the gingham shirts ended up being $9.99 - I absolutely love my blue one and am ready to try some new colors.
lightweight graphic sweater in dark heather gray | $24.94 in store and online

So as I was in line getting ready to check out with my two new gingham shirts and the polka dot sweater, I pulled out my cash/coupons and realized it wasn't two $10 off of $25 - but two $20 off of $50. So naturally, I got out of line considered my February budget and went back to pick up two more items so that I could use all of my ON cash.

crepe shift dress in blue floral | $29.94 online and in stores
I originally passed on this dress because it was a new arrival and still full price but it's the same style as the fuchsia dress that I rocked several times during my 30 for 30 and so I already knew I had multiple ways to wear it. Despite the fact that it does have a lot of blue (a color I'm currently trying to avoid while shopping), I love love love the print and decided to buy it.
button front chiffon top in camel brown | $19.50 online, $29.94 in store
And here is my attempt at branching out - I always avoid browns and tans because of my darker skin tone and so I originally reached for the black and then the white version of this blouse.  But I'm trying to focus on expanding my color palette while shopping and so I tried on the tan and will hopefully wear the living daylights out of this shirt until I feel comfortable enough to buy all of the camel colored things - must. get. more. neutrals.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


dress (worn as top) | h&m, skirt | target (last spring)

During my 30 for 30, I got dressed every day but one in the thirty items I had picked, but one night I changed out of my outfit and into this one to go out for drinks with friends.  I'm 100% guilty of cheating, but after wearing a dress as a blouse I found myself in my closet attempting to see how many of my dresses I could wear this way and fell in love with this outfit.

The dress is one of my faves too - $5 during H&M's fall clearance and the back has the exposed zipper which I love.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

watermelon combo

blouse & cardigan | old navy, pants | h&m
I bought this top last spring off a clearance rack and have struggled with it ever since because it's a size or two too big and does this really cute thing where it shows off my bra straps.  I'd only worn it twice and while sorting through my closet I thought maybe it was time to let it go.  But once I pushed up the sleeves of my cardigan and belted it to give it some shape again, I found that I actually really liked it.  And I really liked this outfit even though it does kind of remind me of watermelon on a 4th of July paper plate (don't lie, you see it too.)

Don't quote me on it, but the 30 for 30 may have made me a clothes' whisperer; I suddenly feel as if I can make everything in my closet work for me somehow.

Friday, February 1, 2013

30 x 30 | The Recap

I wrapped up my 30 for 30 challenge yesterday and it was such a rewarding experience.  I got the opportunity to meet so many awesome bloggers, I saved money while not shopping for clothes every week and most importantly, I learned how versatile pieces in my closet are.  When I first started my blog I wasn't really sure how often I should post and what about because I felt like I needed to feature new clothes in each post. Gone are those days.

I have every intention of utilizing my own clothes and styling things in more than just the first way I think of.  Thanks to everyone who followed the journey this month and left kind comments, suggestions and encouragement - it was much appreciated :) Here's a look back at January:

Here's my top four:

My most versatile piece was my chambray shirt which was what I expected.  The items that most surprised me with their flexibility were the dresses.  I had a couple more potential outfits planned out for my black lace dress, the fuchsia dress introduced me to the concept of wearing a dress as a blouse and I'd never done anything but belt the pink houndstooth dress.  I'm really excited to play with all of the dresses in my closet now. And the item I struggled with the most? I was really surprised with how disenchanting I found my cream Ralph Lauren sweater, but other than by itself or layered over a button up, I couldn't think of ways to wear it. I'm sure someone out there has an idea so please leave it below so I can fawn over you in a later post.

The outfits that didn't make it into the challenge, but I really loved:

Before this post gets crazy long (too late, it already is) - tips and tricks to a successful 30 x 30 challenge:

  • If possible, take on the challenge with a blogging (or non-blogging) friend.  The peer pressure will help you stay on track and having someone else to bounce ideas off of is always beneficial.
  • ACCESSORIES - I have a borderline obnoxious amount of jewelry and scarves but these are the ways to change up a knit tee or solid dress.  I used my accessories to add color and give new life to items that were worn three or four times in the span of a month.
  • Know that you can wear something two days in a row and no one will notice if you style it differently.  One of my greatest fears is someone noticing my outfit repeating - so much so that even before I started this blog, I would snap a pic of what I wore so I could not wear it for a couple of weeks, sometimes months.  I couldn't quite conquer the fear completely while this challenge was going on, but get ready to see a consecutive week of chambray shirt outfits (kidding - or am I?)
  • Pick a diverse group of items.  Examples: midway I started to feel like I had the blues and then I paid closer attention: seven of my thirty items were a shade of blue. I unknowingly gravitate towards navy and cobalt while shopping, but I started to feel really repetitive and limited because of the amount of blue I had picked out. Go for some neutrals and some bright, vibrant shades. Variety is the spice of life - so when you throw in that chevron top that's totes adorbs, be sure to also throw in some solid pieces that can mix easily.  Mix it up with button ups and knits, dresses and skirts and pants. And throw in some cardigans.
  • Plan. Sam suggested having some outfits already planned out for the mornings when you wake up late, the ones when you can't decide what to wear and for when you just get fed up.  This saved me from looking like a hot mess a few times.  Don't be afraid to take to Pinterest to get ideas for 'yellow pencil skirt,' you'll be pleasantly surprised by the inspiration you find.
  • And lastly, be adventurous - try trends you're nervous about, wear things in new ways, wear color schemes that people consider reserved for certain seasons and have fun!

30 x 30 | Day Thirty

knit | forever xxi, (dress worn as) skirt | old navy

Yesterday was the last day of the 30 x 30 challenge and this was the outfit I wrapped up with.  And it was a slight challenge for me; I know it's fine to break the navy with black rule these days but I still struggle with it.  This dress isn't a dark navy so I felt okay going with the black tights (especially when I saw it was snowing this bare legs for this girl!).  The yellow striped shirt had only been worn twice so I pulled it over and I really liked it - this dress has pockets so I was a little worried about it possibly making me look hippier than usual, but it didn't so A++ to this dress. Or I said yes to the dress, insert various rhymes/puns here.

I'm so excited to wake up in the morning and wear whatever I want from any part of my closet, but this was such a fun challenge and one I definitely want to repeat on the blog.

I won't get all sappy on everyone yet - I'll be back sometime today with the 30 x 30 recap and some last thoughts on the challenge, advice for anyone considering doing one in February/March/whenever, my favorite and least favorite outfits and maybe even some outfits that didn't make it into the challenge?

"See" you soon!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

30 x 30 | Day Twenty Nine

chambray | old navy, chinos | h&m

I never wear this polka dot skinny scarf so I decided try tying it a bow around my neck and then eventually my collar so I could rock polka dots on polka dots for day twenty nine.  I really wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I love this idea.

This was the fifth time I wore my polka dot chambray top during this challenge, making it my most popular blouse.  Here's a quick look at the different ways I styled it:

prior days: 2, 7, 18 & 21
Do you have a favorite?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

30 x 30 | Day Twenty Eight

oxford | brooks brothers, skirt | jcpenney

tights | charlotte russe
I started reading Heather's post yesterday morning and had to put on my love bangle as well - yay for being bracelet twins!
The good: two days from the end of the 30 for 30 challenge (!!!) and my friend/coworker asked if I had picked up all of these items in a recent shopping spree - I guess that means I'm remixing kind of well :)

The bad: even though yesterday's post was all about how much I dislike tights, I couldn't turn these down when I found them for $3.  Slightly different, but for a serial tight killer like me much more price appropriate than the ones I'd been eyeing from Gap.

The ugly: I was so, so proud of myself for trying these on Monday night and taking them off and then putting them back on for this outfit and making it through the day.
...And then I went to take them off and the tiniest of snags happened.  I may have glared at the tights.

Linking up with Shanna today!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

30 x 30 | Day Twenty Seven

oxford | brooks brothers, dress | h&m

Let's talk about tights.  I think they're great in theory: they can be opaque or patterned, they make it possible to wear dresses and not shave your legs (guilty as charged), they keep your legs warm (debatable) and make an outfit look put together.

And here's why I only like tights in theory: This is the only pair of tights I haven't ruined after wearing them one time.  It's heartbreaking.  Without fail, I will snag, run or accidentally poke a nail through a brand new pair of tights and sigh dramatically as I realize that in my hand I'm holding twelve to fifteen dollars that would have been better spent elsewhere.

Eventually, I gave up on spending more for the slim chance they may last and started buying Target tights figuring they were cheaper to replace.  Somehow, these black ones have stood up against my apparently rough nature and I can confirm that they are still unscathed as I write this.

Here's to you, Target tights.

30 x 30 | Day Twenty Six

Confession time: I didn't actually wear this on Sunday.  Sunday was spent cleaning, reflecting, napping and then reality tv-ing.  In my defense, keeping up with the Kardashians and Chips Ahoy is hard work best done in sweats.

I did, however, wear this for part of Day 16 so I don't feel as bad about being a lazy bum.  Also, so sorry but I could not edit out the fact that I was possessed by demons while snapping this pictures.  You win some, you lose some.

gingham shirt & tank | old navy, jeans | target

Tracey from Versatile Style by Tracey nominated me for the Very Inspiring & Versatile Blogger Award - Thanks Tracey, so sweet that you thought of me :)  I don't want to bore everyone (and myself) with another group of facts about myself but please be sure to check out Tracey's blog if you have a minute.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

30 x 30 | Day Twenty Five

blazer | thrifted, shirt | talbots (thrifted), chinos | h&m
I was determined to bring this shirt back so here it is, under a blazer as Ginny suggested (you're the best, thanks a million).  The blazer really looks black in this picture and all I can think about right now is how cool it would be if navy and black pieces could change based on what you were wearing.  Kind of like a mood ring.  And this has been deep thoughts with Nicole!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

30 x 30 | Day Twenty Four

dress | old navy, leggings | h&m
scarf | target, necklace | charming charlie
Yesterday's look is what I call "being woken from a deep sleep by a panicked phone call and throwing clothes on" chic.  Luckily, my friend's car accident wasn't bad and I didn't look like a hot mess when I showed up to make sure she was alright - all thanks to the '30 x 30 outfit ideas' album I have on my phone.
Have a great Saturday!