Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Budget & Budgeting Bloggers

1. Old Navy - $20 @ 20% off
2. Old Navy - $12 @ 20% off
3. Revlon Minted - $5 (seen here)
4. Forever 21 - $7
5. Forever 21 - $10
6. The Limited - $35 @ 25% off (seen here)
7. Loft - $20 on sale (seen here)
8. The Limited - $8 on sale (seen here)
9. Forever 21 -$30 
10. Forever 21 - $13
11. Banana Republic - $35 on sale with giftcard (seen here)
12. Old Navy - $16 @ 20% off
13. Madewell - $35 on sale (seen here)

= $240








Budget: blown. When I think back through the month, I feel I didn't spend that much, but having a spreadsheet and tallying it up makes me realize where the money goes. On one hand, I could not buy 13 different things, and buy one "big ticket" item but at the same time, I do find joy in having a variety of pieces. I've been working on buying clothes and accessories that I will wear for quite some time - pieces that fit, aren't all trendy, and ones that I can wear multiple ways. There are several items I purchased this month that I ended up returning because they didn't fit that criteria.

July starts the {seemingly endless} month of car payments so I will need to re-evaluate the money situation...although I did just get a raise ;)  

How did you do sticking to your budget? I've started a monthly link-up as a form of motivation for us to stick to our {self imposed} budgets.  Please link-up below with Budgeting Bloggers and share with your readers :)


Friday, June 29, 2012

4th of July Manicure

This is my second attempt at a 4th of July manicure. Something about a bunch of blue and red in a small area just doesn't look cute. I just got my Julep box in the mail and I thought that the pale purple would do a good job offsetting the blue and red.

I am in love with the Julep polish - I used two coats, but I really only needed one, it doesn't smell bad, and has a super smooth application. If you are interested in receiving your own Julep box, sign up here (get your first box for only $0.01 by using the code COLOR2012).
Base: Julep Renee
Red: Sally Hansen Cherry Red
Blue: Essie Mezmerised
Glitter: Essie Set in Stones
White: Striping tape (super cheap on eBay!)


Glitter or no glitter?

Linking up with the Nail Files and Mani Monday! I'm being featured this week over at Glitter and Gloss so make sure you check it out :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Snippity Snip

Off it went! I did the semi spontaneous (okay, with 4 days of back and forth) thing and cut off my hair. If you remember my hair stories, it is not that unusual for me to just "drastically" do something to my hair. I'm excited for all the cute short hair styles to try out! At least it won't be another messy bun like it was with my long hair!






Blouse: Forever 21 (similar in peach at JCP)
Jeans: Urban Outfitters
Belt: The Limited (similar)
Necklace: Tiffany & Co. (similar)
Shoes: Simply Vera Vera Wang (similar)



And  a little bit of office colorblocking....

Sunday, June 24, 2012

To Chop or Not to Chop

I love having long hair...when it looks good. I think I have an idealized idea of what long hair looks like and it looks like every long haired picture on Pinterest - long, full, wavy, beautiful.

Reality: my hair does not look like that. It doesn't hold curl, it gets frizzy and it is spent in a bun 95% of the time. What's the point?

Its time for a chop. Shout out to Sandra for the inspiration.

KFC

Craig was the first friend I made in college. We were both trying out for the UW Marching Band and lived in the same dorm. He helped me my math homework, I eventually helped him find his future wife...

I introduced Craig to Kayla that fall, and they have been inseparable ever since. They got engaged in front of 70,000 people 2 years ago, and got married yesterday! I'm so happy for them and lucky that I got to be a small part of it :)










Dress: Banana Republic
Shoes:  BCBGeneration
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
Bracelet: Banana Republic (similar)






Best part of that dress is that it was originally $130, but was magically on sale for $75 the next time I was in the store, plus I had a $45 gift card, so it cost me $30 out of pocket!
 K(ayla) F(ran) C(raig) : 2006
KFC: 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I Feel Love

This is a mash-up of these two pictures. We're going to the wedding of a couple I set up 6 years ago (matchmaker!) so I wanted something sparkly and cute.

Base: Sally Hansen Shall We Dance?
Heart: OPI My Throne for a Cranberry Scone
Glitter: loose glitter from a craft store applied with a paint brush

Linking up with Mani Monday - go see what the other ladies have been doing to their nails!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thinking Outside of the (Shoe) Box

If you read my answers on Whitney's Women Who Work feature, you will have noticed that I'm pretty limited to what I can wear to work. I have to wear pants and closed toed, flat shoes. Since I can't wear cute sandals/heels/wedges, I've been on the lookout for new styles of flats.

I used to wear Sperrys with just about everything while in school (even in the winter, not on a boat). Once I started working I wore my black ballet flats so much that they have holes in the sole.

Not cute. 

I've been trying to branch out to get out of my shoe rut. These penny loafers were purchased a few months ago - they are so soft! Since then I've also purchased leopard smoking loafers and am hoping to purchase these blue oxfords in the near future.

Are you lucky enough that you can wear any shoe you want every day, or are you limited like I am?

Chambray: Old Navy
Jeans: Gap Outlet (similar)
Belt: Forever 21 (similar)
Shoes: Crown Vintage via DSW (similar)
Bracelet: vacation find (similar)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Beauty Boxes: The Pretty and the Ugly

I'm on my 3rd month of receiving a Birchbox. Every month I get so excited when I get the "Your Birchbox has shipped" email, and every month I'm disappointed with the box. Its not that its any fault of Birchbox - they are offering a fun little present in your mailbox every month for $10, but I always wish I had more control over what I was receiving. So I've decided that I'm going to cancel my Birchbox subscription - they are great, but not for me.




I recently found out about Julep Maven. They are also a monthly beauty box, but instead of samples, they send you full sized nail polishes. The polishes are all "4-free" and get great reviews. My favorite part of the service is that not only do you get to see what your box contains each month ahead of time, you have the option to opt out if you don't want to pay for it. The price is a little steeper ($20 instead of $10) but you have control over what you pay for.

I just signed up for my first box - American Beauty - my first box is only $0.01! If you're willing to take the plunge, you can sign up here and use the code MAVENINTRO to also get your first box for a pretty penny. 


How do you feel about all of these "beauty box" services? Would you rather be surprised each month (like Birchbox and Glossybox) or have control (like Julep Maven)?

Women Who Work: Whitney (and Me!)

When I first started my blog, I knew all the things that were working against me - my job really limits what I can wear, I live in a smaller city, and I have a small budget to work with. I was contacted by Whitney over at Along the Lines of Style to be featured in her weekly Women Who Work column, and I'm so glad she did because I fell in love with her blog. She is in a similar situation I am (job dictates what she wears, smaller budget) but she wears the cutest outfits. I seriously want to steal all of skirts. Since I'm being featured this week (Thanks again Whitney!), I wanted to feature her back! Make sure you visit her blog and follow along!

1.      





      What is your job? 

I teach Middle School Social Studies and coach the Middle School cheer squad. My job requires that I take on all kinds of roles. In my classroom alone, I’m the CEO, mentor, cheerleader, therapist, lecturer, researcher, creative director, head of marketing and finance, party planner, organizer, actress, presenter, scheduler, tech department, supplier, human resources department, communications specialist, and counselor. On occasion, I’m a singer and dancer, but I will spare you those visuals.
 
      Do you have a dress code? How does that define how you dress to work? 

The school where I work has a fairly formal dress code. The men are required to wear ties and shirts with collars. Women have a little less restriction (it’s a little harder to “pin down” an equivalent to ties and dress shirts), but we are required to dress nicely. This means no jeans, sweatshirts, or flip flops.
 
      What challenges do you face (from your job) in terms of style?

Teachers are expected to dress appropriately and professionally, but also have the challenge of dressing comfortably. Also, teachers aren’t making bank, so they have a budget to consider. I think that all of these factors cause many teachers to fall into what has best been described as the teacher frump. You know what I’m talking about—we’ve all had those teachers. When I became a teacher, I made a vow to never fall victim to those awful vests, ill-fitting-high-rise linen pants, and orthotics sandals. I promised myself that I would work hard to reflect my individual style, no matter how tempting the grandma chic trend became.
     What are your closet staples?

  • Skirts! They are so versatile and I wear them year ‘round. A-Line skirts are so comfortable—and I can easily transition from walking around my classroom all day to sitting for hours at a basketball tournament. Pencil skirts are the very definition of classy professional—and they are easy to dress down or dress up.
  • Tank tops/dressy tanks. These are definite musts for any teacher. I wear my tanks in every season—they work well with skirts, dress pants, jeans, and shorts. In cooler weather, all you have to do is throw on
  •  Cardigans. I’m a self-declared cardigan-aholic. For real. Toss one over a dress shirt, tank top, or even a dress and voila outfit!
  •   Bold Jewelry. I am a firm believer that jewelry can completely change the look of an outfit. I have been slightly obsessed with my bubble necklaces I bought on eBay, but my collection of statement jewelry has grown quite a bit since I became a teacher.

There you have it! Thank you, Franziska, for having me on your blog!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Want All the Things

Remember that budget I'm supposed to be on? Even though I completely blew through it this month with that Kate Spade purse purchase this weekend...I'm so tempted to take my extra babysitting money I make to buy those shoes and that watch (and then do what Kelly at Alterations Needed did and put a different band on it).

UGH responsiblity...it's the worst.

Shoes: Aldo
Shirt: J. Crew
Stacking Rings: Stella & Dot
Skirt: J. Crew
Watch: Kate Spade

Monday, June 18, 2012

To Kate Spade, With Love.

This past weekend I visited my friend in Chicago. Although its just a quick trip down the interstate from Madison, its a completely different world down there. There's so much to see, eat, drink, do and shop - I was about ready to pack my bags and move down there...when the hard cold reality reminded me that I have to be at work on Monday. Boo!

I'll be back for you, Chicago.

We spent part of Saturday shopping on Michigan Avenue, and spent quite a bit of time in Nordstrom Rack. Just like with Outlet Mall shopping, it is important to ask yourself if you are buying something because you truly love it, or because "Its such a great deal!". I had spent 45 minutes shopping around without much luck when I found this Kate Spade purse. I had been looking for one just like it, especially after see Rachael's super cute teal one. I resisted buying at first, because although a $300+ purse for under $150 is an amazing deal, I wanted to make sure I loved it because of what it is, not because of what it costs. I put it back on the hook (read: hide it in a pile of socks)...went out to lunch...and then came back for it. I know I bought it because I loved it, not because I couldn't pass up such a great deal.
Cardigan: Banana Republic Outlet (similar)
Tank: Banana Republic Outlet
Jeans: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Rocket Dog via DSW
Purse: Kate Spade via Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Watch: Fossil (similar)
Ring: Gift from my mom
Bracelets: Forever 21
Nails: Revlon Minted

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dotty in AC

I wore this for my half day at work on Friday and then for my drive down to Chicago...where I immediately changed into a sundress since it was 90 degrees outside of my air conditioned car. If you follow along on instagram (@FHasselhof) you saw all the fun things we drank, ate...and bought.

Blouse: Francesca's (similar)
Necklace: Ann Taylor Outlet (similar)
Watch: Fossil (similar)
Bracelets: Forever 21

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Minty Fresh

Let this be a lesson: if you use cuticle cream before painting your nails, the polish won't adhere and all your polish will come off within 48 hours.

Outcome: An excuse to try out a new color!

Color: Revlon Minted

Nail Striping tape (on eBay for cheap!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Colors for everyone!

I used to only wear neutral clothing. If I liked it a shirt, it was always going to be bought in the black or grey version. Black is slimming! It goes with everything!

It is super boring all the time.

When I first discovered fashion blogs a year ago (I don't know what took so long), one of the first ones a found was Kendi Everyday, who is no stranger to color. I always admired her easy way of wearing color without it being, "Oh girl, please turn off your shirt". I started buying more and more colorful shirts and learning how to play around with them. My newest addition? This fun polka dot number from The Limited. I'm already playing dress up (in my mind).

Have you been braver than I have been, and wearing colors all along? Or are you more like me and learning slowly?
Blouse: The Limited
Jeans: Joe's Jeans
Belt: The Limited (similar)
Shoes: Simply Vera Vera Wang (similar)
Purse: Coach (similar)
Watch: Fossil (similar)
Bracelet: Tiffany & Co
Ring: Present from my mom (similar)

Color Blocking | Everybody, Everywear

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Plaid to Meet You

I love this blazer but I feel it never photographs the way it looks in real life. Plus posing in a blazer is not really that flattering, am I right? #bloggerproblems #whocares


Blazer: H&M
Shirt: Banana Republic
Belt: Madewell
Ring: Forever 21


Monday, June 11, 2012

~Neon


This month's EBEW theme is neon and as soon as I read that, my heart sank a little. I love a fun trend, but the neon fad just hasn't really spoken to me.  Last month's Nautical theme? Yes, Yes,  and Yes.

Neon? I'm just unsure about.

So instead of buying some neon top and feeling immediate guilt over something I know is not something I really love, and will wear years from now, I did the less permanent version - a manicure!

Pink: Essie Peach Daiquiri
Nude: Revlon Gray Suede



I would also like to thank Heather at Glitter and Gloss for featuring me this week on Mani Monday. Go see what the rest of the ladies did to their nails this week!








Image 4970



Sunday, June 10, 2012

Organized.


Having a slight case of undiagnosed OCD, I like everything to be in order. I've been playing around with how I like my make-up, nails, closet and jewelry organized, so I thought I would share!

First off is my make-up. My friend told me I have the most make-up she has ever seen, and while that may be true, I can't help it! I just love make-up. This organizer is from Target (similiar here) and I found it so helpful being able to see everything organized by function. Knowing where everything is makes getting ready in the morning that much easier.




 My nail polish collection has been growing steadily, and keeping them stuffed in a bag didn't allow me to really know what colors I already owned. This rack was a spice rack I bought for $2 at Savers, and then spray painted white. 


My closet has been organized by color for as long as I can remember. I know many people organize theirs by function, but that never worked out for me. The unmentionables are kept in a drawer set from Target, as well as the shoes and work out clothes located at the bottom. I'm still looking for a better way to organize my scarves (currently stuffed into a bin) but the current summer weather means I'm not exactly looking for scarves to wear.



My mom made me this jewelry frame as a Christmas present - the window pane is originally from our barn which is attached to a burlap wrapped wood panel. This picture doesn't do it justice - it is really beautiful. Having everything hanging in order really allows me to experiment with my jewelry, more than I ever did when it was sitting in a balled up mess on my dresser.



So that's a little look into the pieces that help me make myself presentable - how are you keeping everything organized? Does the ball mess work for you, or are you slightly OCD about how your clothes are arranged in your closet?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sail Away

There are very few times where I see something on another person and go, "That must belong to me...immediately"

....except when I saw this Madewell belt on Skylette over at Sequins & Stilettos.

I had to make it mine.



Shirt: Forever 21
Jeans: Joe's Jeans
Belt: Madewell   (on sale)
Bracelets: Forever 21
Nails: OPI My Throne for a Cranberry Scone


I also recently found this necklace on the Poshlocket website and might just have to buy it once it comes into stock. Its so cute and perfect for summer.

Monday, June 4, 2012

A week-long manicure

I do my nails every Sunday with the intent that the manicure will last me through the week. I've picked up a couple of tricks to make my nails stay chip free for a week and want to share with you!
- The stronger your nails, the better. I take a biotin supplement every day to benefit my nails and hair.

-  I prefer to keep my nails relatively short. Keeping them shorter also prevents them from breaking.

-  Start your manicure with a base. I've been using Sally Hansen's Base Coat {$8}. It fills in the ridges of your nail, it gives the colored polish to grab on to, and it prevents your nails from turning yellow if you wear darker colors.
 - Start your color polish in the middle of the nail, and push down to your cuticles {Thanks to The Stylish Housewife for that tip!}. This will leave a smooth edge at the bottom of your nail

- Wrap your tips - this gives the edge of your nail an extra coat of polish, and gives your nail a more uniform color. See How-To here at the Polish Perfectionist

- Once the last color polish coat is completely dry, use a heavy-duty top coat, such as Sally Hansen's Hard as Wraps. I've found that this top coat really does the trick for preventing chips but it goes on very heavy, and takes forever to dry so I may be on the look out for a different formula once this bottles is up.

I hope these tips help you achieve a chip free week long manicure. If you have any tips or suggestions please share in the comments!
 

MOTW: stripped

Red: OPI My Throne for a Cranberry Scone
Grey: Essie Chinchilly
White: Sally Hansen White On




Sunday, June 3, 2012

Graduation, Part 2

Today's the day Max finally graduated from high school. I still think of him as my little 6 year old brother - the one we dressed up as our third sister, the one we called when there was a bug that needed killing, the one I had to sleep next to for a year so he wouldn't sleep walk. I can't believe we're at the point where he'll be going off to college in 3 months. Here are a couple of pictures celebrating the day:
School colors of black and orange.
Our "Uncle" Will. He lived in the duplex above us during my dad's residency and has been a part of our lives ever since.
 My proud parents.
The family - my dad, mom, grandma, brother, sister and uncle.
My cute 81 year old grandma - doesn't she look great?
We miss you Viktoria!
 Siblings - can you tell?


Mom's outfit:

Heels: Guess via DSW
Dress: Vince Camuto via Marshalls
Necklace: H&M Germany
Bracelet: Forever 21
Purse: Louis Vuitton


Remember when I said my mom is one of the most stylish people I know, and her greatest advice is to mix high end up more inexpensive pieces? Case in point.



Dress: Old Navy
Cardigan: Target
Necklace and Ring: borrowed from Mom
Wedges: BCBGeneration via Boston Store