Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thrifted

My love for getting a good deal is well documented. I rarely pay for anything full price - I always shop the sales at stores I can't really afford full price items (J.Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor), and try to use coupons/codes at stores I can afford to pay full price but try not to (Gap, Old Navy, Loft, Express).

You would think with all of that I would be all for thrifting for clothes...yet I never have. I go to Goodwill and Savers lots, but it's to pick up house items. I went to Goodwill specifically to buy a frame for a print I bought down town, and wandered into the clothing section...and found this blazer waiting for me. It's more of a cardigan blazer and I'm positive it previously belonged to someone's sweet grandmother but with a snip of the scissors to remove the shoulder pads, it became the newest member of my closet. I also found an old leather purse whose straps I  removed to make an awesome new clutch.

All for less than $10! What took me so long?!

Blazer: Thrifted {similar? haha}
Shirt: Buckle
Jeans: Urban Outfitters  {exact}
Necklace: Present  {save, spend, splurge}
Watch: Boccia  {similar}
Shoes: Simply Vera Vera Wang {save, spend, splurge}


Do you thrift a lot of clothes? Any tips for a newbie?


Linking up with wiww and harper's happenings


Monday, July 30, 2012

Spotted

A few weeks ago I was debating between getting a pair of maroon skinny jeans, and a pair of green ones. Ultimately I decided that for $75+ a pop at Express, a maroon pair was going to be a better fit for my wardrobe.

But when I saw that Old Navy was coming out with a whole line of colored jeans, I knew that that green pair was waiting for me. I had a coupon which brought the price down to $25 - a much better option for my budget (which also brings my July budget to $180). I had a rebate code for paying off my Gap card over 6 months ago, which made the top free! According to Laura that makes me smart, not cheap ;)

(just as an fyi, these jeans run super small. I got 2 sizes larger than my normal pants size)
I'm loving pattern mixing on others but continue to do it in baby steps. Last time it was floral + leopard print...and this time it's polka dots + leopard print. I'm linking up with Marionberry Style's Trend of the Month - go see how all the other ladies are more adventurous than me!

Shirt: Old Navy  {save, spend, splurge}
Jeans: Old Navy  {save, spend, splurge}
Belt: Gap  {save, spend, splurge}
Shoes: Rocket Dog
Watch: Fossil  {save, spend, splurge}
Bracelet: J. Crew  {savespendsplurge}
Nails: Seen here

Linking up with Real Girl Glam, Two Thirty Five and Visible Monday

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Deutschland & Nailed It Winner

I love the Olympics...who doesn't, right? But any time it comes down to choosing countries, I'm always stuck between cheering for my birth country and my adopted country. Since I just did an American themed mani at the beginning of the month, Germany gets my nails for the Olympics. This is the first time I've used my dotting tool and I have to say - it's so much fun to use!

White: Sally Hansen White On
Yellow: Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow
Red: Sally Hansen Cherry Red
Black: OPI Razzle Dazzler
Silver: Essie No Place Like Chrome


And the winner for the Nailed It Decals Sample Pack is Nikki Patel for like Franishh on facebook! Look for an email from me :)

If you didn't win, you have a chance to win a year's worth of decals at Made by Munchie's Mama's Blog, or you can purchase them from her Etsy store.

Be on the lookout for some great giveaways coming up - I'm so excited to share them with you!


linking up with The Nail Files and Mani Monday

Friday, July 27, 2012

July Budget

1. Stila Liquid Eyeliner: $20 + with trade in of a luminizer I did not love = $0
2. J. Crew Perfect Linen Shirt: $79.50 + on sale + 40% off sale = $30     {seen here}
3. Forever 21 Tear Drop Necklace: $8 + trade in store credit = $0            {seen here}
4. Gap Plaid Shirt: $49.95 + on sale + 40% off = $14                               {seen here}
5. Express Zelda Jeans: $79.99 + $30 off $75 purchase: $50                    {seen here}
6. Gap Market V-Neck: $22.95 + 40% = $14                                           {seen here}
7. Target Mali Flat: $19.99 + 50% off + giftcard = $0                              {seen here}
8. Equipment Signature Blouse: on Ebay for $50                                      {seen here}

July Purchases = $158

I did much better this month than last month! Looking at my purchases all written out I realize that I rarely buy anything at full retail price - I'm not sure if I'm smart or just cheap. I also purchased less items this month, but I feel they are pieces that will last me longer, especially my Equipment blouse. As I mentioned, I think I'm going to cut back on purchases in August to save a little money for fall purchases like new boots and sweaters. Especially with medical school application fees and car payments starting (woof), I'm glad that I stuck to my budget this month.

How did you do this month? Were you tempted by all of the holiday sales? Feel free to link-up below to share how you did with your budget this month!



Products Used in July

It's easy to recommend a new product only after a few uses, but what's your opinion after it's all used up? I'm going to start keeping track of the beauty supplies I use up each month and give an end of usage review.

Shea Moisture Volumizing Conditioner: $10
I purchased this in the beginning of May and just used it up this week. It left my hair incredibly soft, it smelled awesome and is all natural. I had no problem with snarls like I did with previous more expensive conditioners.  I don't believe it really "volumized" but the pros greatly outweigh that con.

Repurchase: Yes (once my local Target gets it as they do not currently carry it)


Stila Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner: $20
This is the one make-up item I purchase over and over again. This must have been the 7th or 8th one I used. It lasts a really long time (I use it every day and have to replace it every ~3 months), it doesn't flake off, and the tip is stiff enough that it draws a clean line but not too hard that it hurts. I also like that it is a pen instead of a brush you have to re-dip in a pot.


Repurchase: Yes! I have already replaced this one.
Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara: $19
I have very light eyelashes, so mascara is the one makeup item I refuse to leave the house without. I really like this Smashbox mascara more than many others I've tried. It was easy to build on the layers, it didn't clump and it didn't flake off. The only thing I didn't like is that my eyes were very sensitive to it, so my eyes burned any time I didn't use a make-up remover cloth, or if my eyes watered.

Repurchase: Possibly. I'm currently trying Nars' Volume Mascara but if that disappoints I'll go back to this mascara*

*edit: Nars mascara does not come off no matter how hard I try, so back to Smashbox I go!


Neutrogena Makeup Remover Towels: $8
I've tried many different make-up removers (the lotions, the gels, the liquids, the towelettes). I picked this up on a whim back in June. It's going to be my new go-to. It has a faint pleasant smell, it is very efficient in removing lots of mascara/waterproof eyeliner and doesn't leave any residue like many other makeup removers do. If I hadn't picked up a Cos Bar Makeup remover pack for $1.50 that I'm going to force myself to use, I would already have a new pack of these in my bathroom.

Repurchase: Yes!

What beauty products did you use up this month? Would you recommend them/repurchase? MakeupHER is holding a monthly link up for Beauty Favorites - go see what everyone else is loving!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wrapped

Happy Thursday everyone - it's almost the weekend! Any fun plans? I'm going home to spend some much needed time with my closest friends. I see lots of wine and cheese in our future :)

Speaking of future, I am already getting so excited about fall. It was almost tolerable outside today (70s, not 101!) so I've been doing a little online window shopping in my excitement for the brisk weather. This fall I'm hoping to buy a pair of dark brown boots (like this pair), some new jeans, and some longer cardigans (like this, this and this). I'm planning on scaling back on the purchases in August so I can do a little more fall shopping. Even though I'm not going back to school this fall (hopefully next fall though!), I always get excited for Back To School shopping, which obviously also includes stocking up on school supplies. Luckily for you, you have the chance to win some awesome swag from AT&T Back to School Promotion including smart phones, tablets, and so much more. You can enter every day for a chance to win so get a clickin. May the odds be ever in your favor!










What's your favorite part about back to school time? The clothes, the new toys, or the chance to re-organize all of your notebooks (ok guilty - school supplies are my favorite).




Cardigan: H&M  {save, splurge}
Top: Forever 21 {save, spend, splurge}
Jeans: Gap Outlet  {save, spend, splurge}
Belt: H&M
Necklace: Forever 21  {exact}
Bracelets: J.Crew via eBay  {savesplurge}
Shoes: Vaneli Serene  {exact, save - on sale!, splurge}





2 days left for the Nailed It decal pack giveaway!







*Disclosure: I  was contacted by M80 to help get their word out about their Back To School Promotion. I receive a free product by participating but I do not receive anything for your entry. I'm crossing my fingers for you :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ornamented.

I've been slowly adding to my jewelry collection over the last few months. I used to be a one necklace, two rings kind of girl - I wore the exact same diamond necklace and rings every day. I know now how much a special piece of jewelry can make an outfit.

A few weeks ago I had a post about how I organized my jewelry, nail polishes, make-up and closet. A couple of days after that post, my mom surprised me with this awesome jewelry stand. She made it out of plates and candle stick holders she found at our local St. Vincent's. I love how it's a one of a kind piece that showcases my jewelry beautifully. I don't know how my mom does it, but she just makes the coolest things.
I picked up this little giraffe ring holder at a small boutique in Minneapolis. I just think he looks so cute wearing my bow ring as a bow tie ;)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mechanical

Somedays, especially on days when it's raining, I have a tendency to grab something comfortable and something that doesn't require much effort. It's easy to grab a soft chambray shirt, throw on some colored skinny jeans, and slip on some loafers. It's almost mechanical.


linking up with real girl glam and wiww.






Jeans: Express {exact, save, splurge}
Shirt: Old Navy {exact, save, splurge}
Necklace: Forever 21  {exact}
Shoes: Rocket Dog   {exact, save, splurge}






P.S. 4 Days left to enter the Nailed It Decals Sample Pack Giveaway!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Shagadelic

A boy at work today told me that I looked like an extra from an Austin Powers movie. That's what I get for wearing boob ruffles.









Tank: The Limited {save, splurge}
Cardigan: Banana Republic Outlet {save, splurge}
Jeans: Urban Outfitters  {exact, save, splurge}
Shoes: Simply Vera Vera Wang  {save, splurge}
Watch: Fossil  {save, splurge}
Bracelet: J. Crew {savesplurge}
Nails seen here - enter for a chance to win a sample pack of these amazing nail decals :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Weekend Style: "I had a linen shirt in high school"

Best part of weekends? Shorts and sandals! This weekend Chris and I had a "date morning". We went out for breakfast and then went to a morning showing of The Dark Knight Rises. I wanted something that would keep me warm in the theatre so my new shirt I got during the 40% of J.Crew sale items fit the ticket. I told Chris it was linen, to which he told me that he once had a linen shirt...and a terry cloth shirt in high school. I told him I'm glad I didn't know him then.

terry cloth shirt?!


Shirt: J. Crew {exact on sale, save}
Tee: Target
Shorts: Aeropostale {save, splurge}
Belt: Madewell {similar}
Purse: Coach {save, splurge}
Shoes: Sam Edelman for AE {exact, splurge}
Sunnies: Ralph Lauren via Lenscrafters {exact}













Have you entered my first blog giveaway? You can win a Nailed It Decals Sample Pack!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Nailed It! Giveaway

I love the idea of chevron nail art, but after spending several hours on my last attempt I knew there had to be an easier way. After participating in Mani Monday for several weeks, I noticed these awesome manicures with chevrons and knew I had to get some of my own. I purchased a sheet of chevrons and a sheet of bows from  Made by Munchie's Mama and I'm so excited about the way it turned out!







Grey: Essie Chinchilly
Glitter: Wet n Wild Sparked
Chevron: Made by Munchie's Mama






Blue: Essie Midnight Cami
Bow: Made by Munchie's Mama
Striping Tape: eBay 




linking up with the nail files , #SawPinnedConquered and Mani Monday





To get you in on the fun, I have partnered up with MBMM to provide one Nailed It Decals sampling pack to one lucky winner! It includes chevrons, moustaches and bows. I'm jealous I can't have one of my own!

Giveaway is open for 1 week, and will be announced next Sunday night. This is open to everyone, just enter below!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Investment Pieces

After looking over the last couple months of budgeting, I decided that instead of buying fast fashion/cheaper pieces, it was time to do a little investing. I love classic blouses and have heard great things about Equipment shirts. A $200 brand newblouse was not an option so I  went to eBay and found this beauty for $50. The shirt feels amazing on and is even prettier in real life. I already am planning for a nude companion :)


This Kate Spade purse was another investment I made about 6 months ago. I got it during a flash sale and love it to pieces. It is the closest I'll get to a quilted Chanel any time soon.

What have you invested in recently?
Blouse: Equipment (similar at NM for $80)
Jeans: Urban Oufitters
Necklace: Forever 21 (save, splurge)
Shoes: Rocket Dog via DSW
Bracelet: J.Crew via eBay (save, splurge)
Purse: Kate Spade (save, splurge)
Hair: Tutorial by The Small Things
Nails: OPI - originally seen here

My friend Kim and her husband (!) just got this adorable Corgi named Tucker. They came over today for a play date with Hans and Baer. They had so much fun rolling around. Isn't he adorable?











linking up with fashion friday :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cardi Party

I just love everything about this cardigan. Polka dots, navy&white, and light weight enough so I'm not dying as I walk from my air conditioned car to my air conditioned lab. This heat wave can break any day though...100+ every day is a bit excessive, amiright? Its making this half marathon training thing a bit....sweaty.
Cardigan: Old Navy
Tank: Espirit (similar)
Belt: Old Navy (similar)
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
Jeans: Joe's Jeans
Shoes: Rocket Dog



...and of course a little reminder to like my facebook page :)


linking up with work it wednesday, real girl glam and wiww

Monday, July 16, 2012

Color Challenge: Pink

This is my first month participating in The Color Challenge over at Small Town, Big Wardrobe- this month's color is pink. I don't own much pink...or at least I didn't until I purchased these pink loafers (on clearance in stores!) on Friday after seeing them on Michelle at Second Street East. I think they'll be a fun addition to my growing collection of work-appropriate shoes.
I also finally created a facebook page - you can find me here













Blazer: H&M (similar)
Shirt: Forever 21 (very similar)
Jeans: Gap Outlet
Shoes: Target (currently on sale in pink)
Necklace: H&M (similar on eBay)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Traffic Stopper Copper

The best part about nail posts is that the titles really write themselves! ;)

I know we're in the middle of summer, so brights and pastels are the go-to choice for manicures...but I'm already longing for Fall so my nails are getting ready early.

Last week I mentioned that I started using Seche Vite top coat - I really like it! It dries quick (no bedtime smudges), and I didn't have a single chip until Friday. I highly recommend it.
Black: Nicole by OPI Razzle Dazzler

Glitter: Sephora by OPI Traffic Stopper Copper


Linking up with the Nail Files and Mani Monday

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lumberjacking

Today one of my favorite ladies at work told me that I look like a cute lumber jack...so I'll just go with that. Although we don't have to dress up at work (almost everyone I work with has to wear scrubs in the lab), I still like to have a bit of a Casual Friday after a long week. I randomly found this top at Gap on sale, and then 40% off so a nice little gingham top to add to my closet for $14 :)
Shirt: Gap (on sale)
Jeans: Banana Republic (similar)
Necklace: Forever 21
Belt: H&M
Shoes: Crown Vintage via DSW (similar, want these)
Watch: Boccia


Linking up with Fashion Friday :)
I just updated the comments section to Disqus so if there are any problems with it, please let me know! All previous comments are being imported just so you don't think I deleted them.









Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Skinnies

A year ago, I wouldn't have been caught dead in skinny jeans...and now I'm on to my 6th pair. I've been getting really sick of my black pairs of skinny jeans, and after seeing so many cute pictures of maroon and green skinny jeans, I was hooked. Luckily for me, Express had some in both colors. Ultimately I knew that I would wear the maroon pair more than green ones, as cute as they are. I'm so excited to wear these this fall with boots!

These were going for $80 but I had a promo code so they were only $50. If you are in the market for some new jeans, Express is having a buy 1, get 1 half off jeans!



Jeans: Express
Blouse: H&M (similar)
Belt: Gap (similar)
Necklace: Forever 21
Shoes: Simply Vera Vera Wang (similar at Target)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sir Mix-a-Little

I classify my style as pretty classic and although I mix it up sometimes, I try not to follow every trend. I don't like neon, peplum scares me, and you will never ever find me wearing ankle boots.

But pattern mixing...that I can do. I already have a long standing love affair with striped shirts, florals are slowly creeping in, and polka dots are pretty much here to stay. Plus pattern mixing involves no purchasing, just playing around with the clothes and accessories you already have - perfect for someone on a budget!



Blouse: H&M (similar)
Belt: Old Navy (similar)
Jeans: Urban Outfitters
Flats: Rocket Dog
Bracelets: Forever 21, Express
Nails: Essie No Place Like Chrome (up close)



And speaking of trends, I'm "substitute teaching" over at Along the Lines of Style about my love for chambray so make sure you check it out.
Which trends are you on board with, and which ones will you pass on?







Linking up to wiww :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

No Place Like Chrome

I had two nails break this weekend, so even though I just did my nails on Thursday, I had the perfect opportunity to try out some of my new polishes. I've been eying up metallic nail polishes {like this one} for a while so when I saw that Essie was coming out with a new metallics line, I was so excited! I picked up a bottle today at Target. Its not a perfect metal like the pictures, but it does the job. If you try this out, don't be discouraged by the first coat - the bumps and scraps are smoothed out by a second coat.

What do you think? Are you going to try out one of the new metallic polishes?

Silver: Essie No Place like Chrome
Black: Nicole OPI Razzle Dazzler
Blue: Loose Glitter covered with Orly Spazmatic














I also purchased Orly Spazmatic and the Seche Vite top coat that I've heard so much. I'll be sure to report back on if it lives up to its reputation!




Linking back up to The Nail Files and Mani Monday.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Upping the Basics

Just sprucing up some basics for this hot Friday. Hope everyone has a great weekend! I have a wedding to attend tomorrow and then just relaxing with Chris before he starts rotations on Monday - check out a little guest appearance in the end ;)

































Baer probably wanted to be a part of the pictures....




















Shirt: H&M
Jeans: Urban Outfitters
Necklace: Vacation Find in Sydney (similar)
Belt: Old Navy (similar)
Shoes: Rocket Dog via DSW
Watch: Fossil (similar)
Ring: Present from my mom
Nails: Julep Eva






Chris doing his best "Blazer Pose".   I love a man in nice clothes and now that he'll be in the hospital, I get to see it every day :D