Saturday, August 29, 2015

Budget Rewind - August 2013


August 2013 was a pretty good month for shopping.  I look at this collage and still have and like everything, so that's an accomplishment for 2 years ago!

Good
J.Crew factory chambray popover: $31 - I think the chambray has proved its worth over and over again.  
Love Culture Pink Sandals: $6 - this store randomly appeared at the mall and then disappeared just as fast.  It was kind of like Forever21 - cheap and mostly nothing I wouldn't of ever wear!  But I found these sandals and I love them!   Update - they still have a website.  And I'm pretty sure I had these shoes in 1998.  

Medium
J.Crew factory pencil skirt: $25 - online this skirt looked more red.  In person, more orangey.  And it was final sale.  I like it and have worn it quite a bit.  But it was probably foolish to spend $25 on a final sale item that was a gamble.  I need to try it on and see if it still fits, and then consider whether I will be needing pencil skirts as a stay-at-home mom.  
Loft Plum tank: $8 - I've worn this more than I've blogged it.  It's a little see-through, which isn't great, but I like the color and I think it fits nicely.  
Loft Paisley Cardigan: $12  - blogged 4 times.  This one is tricky because I LOVE IT.  But I hardly ever wear it.  What's up with that?  I need to wear it more!

Bad
Loft Orange/White stripe tank: $7 - I think I've worn this more than just the one time I blogged it.  I hope.  I think it's cute, so I should try to wear it more!

As far as budget rewinds go, not too shameful.  I'm already bracing for the shame of September 2013.   So make sure to come back next month for that post.  






Friday, August 28, 2015

Budget Rewind - August 2014



August 2014 seems like a million years ago!  These are the last things I bought before finding out I was pregnant!  And the collage features some "close enough" options, which are actually cuter than the real versions I got.  

Good
Gap factory black/white skirt and Gap factory orange/blue skirt: $13 each - I love these skirts and have worn them both quite a bit!
Loft outlet lace tee: $22 - this was a replacement for my H&M lace tee that I wore until it was basically ruined.  
Macy's floral skirt: $15 - another skirt that I love! Shoutout to Danielle who actually linked to this skirt in one of her posts, and I promptly purchased it. 
Gap factory white tank: $2 - I wear little tank tops under almost everything, so I'm happy when I can find them for a good price!  
Target gold flats: $8 - comfortable flats, and they are a fun alternative when I want something neutral but kind of sparkly.  
Target navy sandals: $8 - I wanted to buy these when I first saw them, but didn't want to pay full price, so I was super excited when I found them later in the summer on sale!  

Medium
Loft outlet maroon dress: $12 - I tend to avoid "fall" colors (like maroon, olive, mustard) because I just don't like them as much as brighter colors, but this maroon/Marsala/oxblood dress (whatever we are calling it this year) was cheap and comfortable and I thought it would fit in well with my closet.  I have worn it a fair amount and think I will continue to, but I probably wouldn't buy it again if I could go back.  I don't have as much fun styling it as I do with most dresses.
Gap factory gray/white striped tee: $3 - I need to stop with the cheap cotton tees from Gap and Old Navy.  I think we've established this time and time again.  I'm sure I've worn this more than 3 times, but it was just unneeded.

Ugly
NY&Co striped pleated skirt: $15 - after the suit buying fiasco in May, I waited about 2 days too long to return the suit at NY&Co, so I was stuck with a gift card.  But I never shop there.  I bought this skirt and knew it was a mistake, but I was being stubborn (full story here) I guess it's cute, but I never would have bought it with real money.  I might try wearing it one more time and then see if I can sell it!  
Target mint flats: $5 - well, I haven't even worn these yet, so these were obviously not a great decision.  I do think I would have worn them in the spring if my feet weren't swollen, but I have no excuse for not wearing them yet this summer.  

So not great, but not terrible!  Then my shopping strategies changed quite a bit as of September, what with growing a human and all.  




Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blogger vs. Baby: Navy Camo



In the couple of months where people knew I was pregnant, but didn't know we were having a boy, they liked to say things about how if I had a girl, we could dress alike, and how fun that would be.  Well, who says my boy and I can't dress alike?  In my defense, I did not buy him this shirt, but I love it.  


I was going to make a poll for who wore it better, but it wouldn't be fair.  I mean, look at him.  He's cheating with extra cuteness.

Top: Gap
Jeans: Jessica Simpson
Shoes: Sperry



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August Shopping



If you were excited to know about the socks I bought in July, you'll probably need to sit down for the epic shopping I did in August.  TWO UNDERTANKS!

That's right, folks.  I bought not one, but TWO tank tops at the Gap outlet.  It's out of control over here.  But I wear camisoles under pretty much everything, so I think these are a good investment.

Gray tank: $5
White tank: $5

I mean, babies are expensive, but he's doing his best to save the family money by crying whenever we go shopping.  Unless I'm with my nieces at a store I am not interested in, like Claire's or Justice.  Or at the fancy mall where all the stores are too expensive.  Then he falls asleep.

Full disclosure:  when my sister was visiting, her girls LOVE to shop, and really wanted to go to the outlet mall (which is an outdoor mall).  When we got there, it was raining and kind of chilly.  Assuming it would be hot since it was AUGUST, I was wearing shorts and a tank top.  So I bought this cardigan at Gap, so I wouldn't be too cold.  It was $20, which is more than I would ever spend on a Gap cardigan.  When we got back outside, it was sunny and warming up, so I returned the cardigan on our way back to the car.  Because I am ridiculous.  It's also entirely possible that I bought this shirt and this hoodie for the boy.  But I don't blog about his clothing budget!

In September, I really need to buy some jeans.  And I feel completely clueless about what style I should buy.  I've been mostly wearing skinnies for the past few years (haven't we all), but it seems like flares are coming back, and I do like those, too.  Maybe I need to buy 2 pairs of jeans.

As always, linking up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Book Review - Station Eleven



Station Eleven is a kind of bizarre book.  I knew that it was a novel set after the collapse of society (flu kills almost everyone, which you know, isn't as far-fetched as I want it to be).  I didn't know that it centered around a traveling symphony.  I was actually super excited about the book, and telling John about it, and as I read the synopsis on Goodreads, thought it sounded kind of cheesy.  But I went ahead and read it, because I had heard good things.  And I really liked it.  The story jumps back and forth between about 20 years after the flu outbreak and about 20 years before.  And how the main characters lives somehow intertwine over the years and everything that happens.

Overall, I thought this book was interesting and well-written, but I wanted more closure at the end.  It was one of those books where it seemed like the author was just like 'Meh, I'm tired of writing.  It's good enough."  And I know authors do that sometimes for effect, and to make the reader fill in the blanks, but sometimes it works better.

I'll probably check out the other books by Emily St. John Mandel at some point.  Maybe they have more closure?  

Monday, August 24, 2015

Ode to a Dress



These days, I often thank my former self for buying so many skirts and dresses with flowy skirts!  This is a magical dress that fits no matter what size I am.  It's a "dry clean only" dress, but the first time I took it into the cleaners, they wanted to charge me $1 per pleat, to iron it.  And I was like, "um, this dress only cost $18. I'm not going to spend $100 to get it cleaned!" and I've been washing it on delicate and line drying it ever since.  And I don't even iron it, because I'm a rebel.  And I'm pretty sure it looks exactly like it did the first time I wore it on vacation back in 2013.  And now I want to go to the beach.  Babies love cruises, right??  (I'm joking - I think having a baby in a stateroom would be pretty awful!).

Oh, and if you are wondering why I was dressed up, it's because one of my friends got married!  YAY!

Dress: Limited
Belt: Madden
Shoes:Target

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Baby Room (finally)

Way back in April, we "finished" the baby's room (shortly after I shared the "sneak preview").  And I thought I would get a little blog post together, and then four months later, I still hadn't done it.  So here it goes.  This is my favorite room in the house, and of course, Mr. Baby just doesn't care at all.   

Before we found out that we were having a boy, I wanted to paint the room navy, and then do bright colors as accents.  A girl room would look almost the same as this, but with bright pink instead of the orange and green.  Or maybe I'd keep the green...  

Anyway, as one does, I started searching Pinterest for ideas.  And as I do, I kind of went into it without a real plan, but I really love how it all came together.  So I'll just share pictures of each main area and then give a brief summary (brief? not likely) of the situation.  



Step 1 was painting and adding the molding.  John did most of this work.  I didn't know it was weird to put chair rail up so high, but I wanted the lower part of the walls to be navy, and I wanted the majority of the wall to be navy.  I really like how it looks.  My only complaint is that hanging pictures gets a little awkward.  

I made the mobile after seeing this pin, but I made up my own directions, and used felt instead of paper.    

The crib is a convertible, so it will transition into a toddler bed, etc.  I made the crib skirt using these instructions.  And the crib sheet is one of my favorite things!  I found it on Amazon, and it's elephant print!  FYI, the price keeps going up and down.  I think it was $12 when I first added it to the registry, and then a few weeks later, it was $200 (who would spend that much for a crib sheet??), and then it went back to a normal price.  


To the left of the crib...
The little table is a hand-me-down from John's great-grandma, which we painted to freshen it up.  Since it was laminate, I used these instructions.  

I made the pillow-cover using these instructions.  It's polka dot, but hard to see in the picture.

The lamp and ottoman are from Target.  (if we are being honest, the ottoman is currently sitting on top of the side table, so the video monitor can see into the crib.  Night-vision doesn't work through the crib slats!)

The little basket was a gift from John's mom (filled with books), and I think it makes a pretty perfect stuffed animal holder, but it is overflowing already.  

I have made a big 16X20 canvas with baby's first initial on it, but haven't gotten it hung up yet.  I painted the stripes on it before he was born, but didn't add the letter until we were 100% sure of his name.  So just imagine a big canvas in the empty white space above the chair.  

The chair is a hand-me-down from my parents.  They bought it about 35 years ago as part of a living room set.  If memory serves, the couch was floral (cream, olive green and burnt orange), this chair had a twin, and there was a mustard yellow recliner.  Imagine this furniture sitting atop bright green carpet, and you have my childhood home.  When my folks redecorated in the 90s, my sister and I each claimed an orange chair.  And I still have it!  I think it's in pretty good shape considering the beating it probably took when we were all young.  I thought about trying to cover it, but I kind of love the orange velvet.  Oh, here's a picture of my brother and me in the chair when I was 6 weeks old, and he was 3.  It's cool how his turtleneck kind of blends in with the chair.   

Wait, what are we even talking about?  Oh yeah, room tour...  


Continuing around the room...

I looked and looked for curtains that I liked, but couldn't find any, so I made these.  Fabric is from Hobby Lobby.  I didn't follow instructions, I just followed my own common sense.  

The art was one of my projects.  I just painted stripes on the canvases, found silhouettes that I liked via google images, and printed them out on cardstock, which I then painted and mod-podged onto the canvas.  There were a ton of cool ideas on Pinterest that you could buy, but nothing exactly like I wanted, so I just made my own.  

The changing table is just a dresser from Ikea (this one) with a topper attached (this one).  A lot of people say a changing table is ridiculous, but I'm so glad we have this one.  The basket contains essentials, like hand sanitizer, diaper cream, extra diapers.  I sewed the basket liner using the same polka dot fabric as the pillow cover.  


Following around to the left, is the closet, which I almost left out, because it is not fancily organized.  Basically, I have current "dress" clothes (like polo shirts and stuff) hanging on the left bar.  Bigger sized items hanging on the higher right bar. Extra diapers and wipes stored up high.  Shoes are in the basket (which he has yet to actually wear).  The 2 woven navy baskets are full of random things that he either doesn't use anymore (like the newborn insert for the carseat) or things that he doesn't need yet (like toys for older babies).  

The pretty hamper thing in the bottom corner is full of blankets.  The gift bag in the middle is full of things I need to take to consignment.  Pretty exciting, I know.  


The final main wall in the room is small, and mostly taken up by the width of the crib.  This dresser matches the little nightstand, which I also painted.  And apparently didn't push all the drawers in before taking pictures.  I'm a real professional, you guys!

The top of the dresser has important stuff, like the carbon monoxide detector, the thermometer, and the night light (this one).  And a couple cute gifts for decorations.  Because every baby needs a rolling xylophone!  

The art has the same origin story as the ones on the other wall.  


AND NOW, quite possibly my favorite part of our whole house:  THE BOOK NOOK!



The door opens into this little nook, which is just wasted space.  I'd seen this pin a while ago and knew I wanted to do something similar for baby's room.  After talking through the options, and realizing how expensive these little shelves would cost (and not necessarily be the right size), John determined that he could make them.  And I think we can all agree they look awesome!  Plus it is so much fun picking different books to read each night.  


Another idea that I copied was putting "READ" above the shelves.  I stole it from this pin.  If you happen to be a perfectionist, don't look too closely.  Stripes are not all the same size.  

So basically, this is the nicest room in our whole house now.  And since I stole almost all of my ideas from Pinterest, I'm linking up with Anne and Jacq for Pin to Present this week.