Tuesday, July 8, 2014

how to not pack for vacation

This is not a "how to pack for a 7 day vacation" post. 

I will be the first to admit that I'm not a great packer. My strategy previously was to throw all of my favorite items (so a bunch of basics) into my suitcase and hope for the best. It's worked out fine in the past, but always lead to pretty uninspired outfits. With this trip to Seattle, I tried to at least come up with a few outfits ahead of time (you can see some of the planning here on instagram). I still threw in some favorites because I knew I was going to change my mind, and because we don't have exact plans of what we are doing yet, but I'm hoping that this pre-planning will help me on days when I don't know what to wear. 

Here's what's coming with me:

- 5 blouses (top to bottom: ASOS, Loft, Loft, J.Crew Factory, J.Crew)
- 1 long sleeved striped shirt (Loft)
- 3 tees (Boden + Everlane)
- 1 cardigan (J.Crew Factory)
- 1 sweater (Banana Republic Factory)

- 3 shorts (Gap + Old Navy)
- 1 skirt (J.Crew factory - current version)
- 1 pair of jeans (Madewell)
- 2 dresses (Target)

- 1 crossbody (current version - mine is "vintage" via Etsy)
- 4 necklaces (c/o oNecklace, Forever 21, c/o BaubleBar - available next week)
- 2 rings (the x-ring is my new favorite!)
- 2 belts

Madewell + Target (the ones I ordered last week didn't come in time, but luckily I found my favorite pair from last year hiding in the garage!)

I left a little room in my suitcase because I'm hoping to find a few special pieces to come back with me. Last year in Seattle I bought my favorite pair of jeans (I found them for $30 on the sales rack!) so with so many stores right at my finger tips, I'm keeping an eye out specifically for another pair of jeans (lighter coloring, a little distressed - like this pair) and I'm hoping to find a cognac crossbody bag (like this beauty). Having a plan, and being willing to spend a little more on things I know I'll wear for years will help prevent having grabby fingers about every cute thing I see!

and for what I wore for a 6 AM departure time...
Blouse: Loft [exact]
Pants: Gap [similar on sale]
Watch: Michael Kors [exact]
Bag: Madewell [exact]
Flats: Banana Republic [exact]
Nails: Essie [exact]

Bri and I will be 'gramming like crazy - follow me here and her here!

Monday, July 7, 2014

closet inventory

When I was preparing to move last year, I spent a lot of time going through my closet and getting rid of a ton of it. I hadn't moved more than three miles in any direction in seven years, so I used the 600 mile move across the country as a good time to really sort through everything I owned. I spent months sorting, donating, selling, and giving to friends, and I thought I did a pretty good job of only taking with me what I really wore and used.

I'll be moving again next year, and to prevent another massive clean out during the super stressful time of board studying and moving, I'm trying to be proactive about what I buy and keep in my closet (and surroundings). I've been trying to buy less since I don't really "need" anything, and I've been cleaning more out. There were some things I held on to that I thought I would wear more during the school year, but I just didn't wear them, so I've already donated a giant bag full of clothes after this recent clean out. I wish that I had taken a full inventory last March just to see how much has changed in the last 18 months!

I've been asked in the past how much clothing I actually own, and so being inspired by AJ's and Kimmie's closet inventory posts, I thought I would share a little of my own. Here are all the clothes I own:

So what does that come out to? Here are the numbers:

Tops: 94
Sleeveless: 8
Tees: 21
Long-sleeved shirts: 10
Blouses/Button-ups: 26
Cardigans: 12
Sweaters: 17

Outerwear: 15
Vests: 2
Blazers: 9
Coats: 4

Bottoms: 36
Jeans: 5
Casual Pants: 5
Dress Pants: 8
Shorts: 8
Skirts: 10

Dresses: 23

Shoes: 34
Flats: 17
Heels: 8
Sandals: 5
Boots: 4

This of course doesn't include work out clothes, pjs, or the large amount of college sweatshirts I own (all the red in the back right corner). I'm a little shocked I own 200 pieces of clothing. I would have guessed it was closer to 150. There are still some things I know I'll be getting rid of in the next year, so I'll probably do a one piece in, one piece out rule.


I know many people suggest using thin velvet hangers to make as much room as possible. I won these wooden hangers last year from Alterations Needed (read her review on the petite hangers here) and I think that they work a lot better for me. I like that it spaces my clothes out a bit more, and it leaves me with a finite amount of hanger space - it prevents me from holding out to clothes I no longer wear. I used to organize my closet completely by color - all white blouses, sweaters, and tees together, and so on. I found that organizing by type helps a lot more - they are still organized by color (because I'm a bit of a nutcase) but now within type. So if I want a tee shirt, they are all together. If I'm looking for a cardigan to wear on top of an outfit, I can see the 12 I have available all in one space.

I'm hoping to inventory once a year just to see where I'm at. Questions about anything? Let me know!

Saturday, July 5, 2014


We moved to America when I was five, and as a permanent resident but not a citizen, I like to think of myself as an adopted American. I have lived here long enough (most of my life) that I've taken on the language, the customs, and the holidays of my adopted country. Of course, there are parts of me that misses Germany (mostly the fact that my whole family is still there, and the food!!!) but I'm thankful that America has welcomed me with open arms.

Happy (belated) Birthday 'Merica - you don't look a day over 238 ;)


Skirt: J.Crew Factory [current adorable pattern]
Tank: Everlane [exact - so so comfy!]
Cardigan: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Necklace: Forever 21 [exact]
Bag: Madewell [save | exact]
Shoes: Madewell [exact]
Watch: Michael Kors [exact]


P.S. The last time I wore this skirt was the day I renewed my permanent resident card....freaky.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

staples on sale: america edition

I'm a big believer in shopping the sales rack. I think patience pays off, and you can get some awesome pieces at a fraction of the cost that they originally went for. Getting those staple pieces you'll own and wear for years, and then getting them on sale, is the icing on the (4th of July) cake. Here's a round-up of closet staples currently out for grabs for a huge percent less than they originally cost:

J.CREW: 40% off sales items with code SHOPMORE (through July 8th)

So of course I first have to mention that my beloved schoolboy blazer is on super sale again (thanks to my girl Tierney for pointing it out!). See it on me here, and a review of regular versus tall here. There are several versions available at different price points, including a few under $40 (although at final sale, so please be warned). The field jacket is something I've had my eye on FOREVER, and if I wasn't holding on to my money to find a jean jacket, and if the tall were available in black, I would have ordered it. It's going for less than $80 though, so I highly suggest getting your fall coat now! The eyelet top is a piece I reviewed here, and I'm glad to see it finally came down in price. Finally, ballet flats and pencil skirts are forever, so may as well get them for a steal.

Loft is my new favorite store - partially because their clothes are ideal of my business casual dress code, and mostly because they are always having a sale. Above are a few picks that would stand the test of time (especially the striped dress - you'd wear it forever), with nothing costing more than $30. The top I got last week is also now on sale, so if you get it, don't tell me since I'll be so jealous you got it for cheaper than I did. 

J.CREW FACTORY: 40-60% off everything

My love for J.Crew Factory runs deep. I can't always afford the prices of the J.Crew pieces, but I know that if I wait long enough that the Factory store will have something very similar. Last year I was obsessed with this printed dress from J.Crew, but it never came down in price enough to justify the price, so needless to say, I'm pumped that they came out with the Factory version. It also has a skirt in the same pattern, which I was thisclose to ordering a few days ago after seeing it on Kristina. I'm heading to the outlets on Saturday with a girlfriend, so I'm hoping that I can find it in stores, at least to try on! 

Other sales worth mentioning:

BANANA REPUBLIC: 40% off (until 7/7)
GAP: 25% off (until 7/4)
ASOS: 20% off (ends 7/8)

happy shopping!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

target does it rarely

DSC00990 I have never been big on buying clothes at Target. I would LOVE to though since their clothes are cute and the price point is right, but I'm slightly too tall that everything looks like it went through the dryer a littttttle too hot. Lord knows that hasn't stopped me from trying though - I'm constantly hoping that their v-neck cardigans would sit right on me or that I can get their fun patterned button-ups to work on me, but they never do. 

I was so pumped when I found this dress earlier in the summer (seen here), and I immediately purchased it in two patterns. At the time, I also tried on a light weight white with black stripes tee shirt dress that I thought would be perfect for the summer - cotton, my favorite pattern, long enough short sleeves - the summer trifecta. I HATED it on me. HATED IT. The fabric was too clingy, you could see my belly button through the material, and no amount of nude underwear was going to prevent people from seeing my butt cheeks. Since I was used to the Target disappointment I didn't think too much of it....until today when I found the same dress in a different pattern. Still has all the things I want, but without all the things I didn't want.

The perfect summer dress....no longer online but probably in stores, so run, don't walk. 

Dress: Target [options below]
Sandals: Gap Factory [want this red version so bad]
Necklace: c/o 9th and Elm
Watch: Michael Kors [exact]
Ring: BaubleBar [exact]
Nails: Essie [exact]
Belt: H&M
 and because my version is no longer available, here are four budget friendly (plus one budget buster) versions below:

one | two | three | four | five

Monday, June 30, 2014

x marks the spot

DSC00950 We're half way through our summer, and I'm almost done with my summer prosection job in the cadaver lab. The last five weeks have had a ton of events stuffed in, including family commitments, concerts, camping, and baseball games, and the next five are just as packed! We are going to Seattle for a whole week starting next week, and then more camping, baseball games, and enjoying the last few weeks of freedom. 

I've loved having this time to pick and choose what I want to do and wear. I'm sure you've noticed that these shorts have been on constant rotation, and that's because they are just so dang comfortable in the hot weather. Old Navy currently has a 30% off online sales [code: SURPRISE, ending the 1st], and I plan on picking up the grey pair as well. Based on the cost per wear, they'll cost me pennies in the end!

Michael Kors Golden Oversized Runway Watch
Blouse: ASOS [exact on sale]
Shorts: Old Navy [exact]
Belt: Gap [similar]
Shoes: Madewell [exact]
Watch: Michael Kors [exact]
x Ring: BaubleBar [exact]
Sunglasses: Amazon [exact under $5!]
Nails: Essie [exact]
baublebar crystal mason ring

Friday, June 27, 2014

june budget

1. Loft Chambray Blouse [seen here]: originally $55 + 40% off = $33
2. ASOS Blouse [seen here]: $60
3. Forever 21 Necklace: $5 + giftcard = $0
4. Loft Pleated Blouse [seen here]: originally $50 + 40% off = $27

June Spending: $120

Quarterly Budget: May ($110) + June ($120) = $270 left for July

My plan for the summer was to spend a bit less in May and June, and save up for July, and I think I'm doing alright! We are going to Seattle in two weeks, and I'm visiting a college friend in NYC the week after, so I wanted to save up for all the shopping experiences I will have there that aren't possible where I live.

That being said, I'm very excited about the pieces I decided to keep from the large orders I put in online. I did decide to keep the lace/crochet top after trying it on with a pencil skirt - I definitely see myself wearing it a lot as it has a higher neckline, which will be great for patient contact days this coming school year and beyond. The necklace was a style I've been looking for for a long time, so I was excited to find an inexpensive option, especially since I had a gift card from when Forever 21 opened in our mall here (it replaced the Gap though, so I'm not too excited about that!).

In addition to my budget purchases, I also purchased this watch. I wanted to gift myself a little something for finishing my first year of medical school, and I originally bought this dress from Madewell but it ended up being a dud on me (although they have shorts in the same pattern that are currently on sale that I am so tempted by!). Since I've wanted this watch for so so long, I finally decided that it would make sense to get something I would actually use for many years to come. The watch was out of my intended price range of $150 or less, so I found this guy on eBay for $150 less than retail price. To say I'm madly in love with it is a slight understatement ;)

So looking towards July (and unfortunately the end of summer!), who knows what will happen. I'd love to visit some smaller boutiques in both Seattle and NYC to get something unique that will always remind me of those trips (if you have any suggestions, please comment below!). I also just ordered both this glittery and this pair dual tone pair of sandals from Target to try on - I love that type of simple sandal and I find they wear well, especially for the lots of walking I anticipate. Target is currently having a buy one, get one half off sale if you are interested in getting a pair (or two) for yourself!

I hope you did alright sticking to your budget this month. If you blog, please link up below (and make sure you link back to this post so your readers can read other people's shopping adventures) and if you don't, I'd still love to hear how you did, what steals you found, and how temping those holiday sales are ;)