Saturday, August 31, 2013

August Goal Confessions

Well, August has come and gone and I'm still just slacking on my goals.  I'm not even going to make excuses for myself.  Here's the damage:   
  • Do a project, mostly sewing - nope 
  • Work out 3x a week - I probably worked out 3 times total.  Fail. 
  • Tackle a project around the house -Operation Closet Clean-out is in progress and I hope to get a lot done this weekend. 
  • Cook a "real" meal at least 3 days each week - not even close
  • Stick to a clothing budget -  success!
  • Read 50 books in 2013 - I'm falling behind, partly because I abandoned a book that I had started.  I've read 30 books this year, but I should be at 32, to be on track for 50.  I'm not too worried, because I tend to read more in the fall and winter.  I'm sure I can catch back up.  
 I don't even know what to say about this.  I've got a million excuses and none of them are worth whining about here, so I'll just say I hope I can get my act together in September!  

How are you doing on your goals?  Any advice on how I can do better?

Outfit note:  I must give credit to Kate for the idea of putting a navy tee with coral/pink floral shorts.  The cardigan was necessary, because my office gets cold sometimes.  

Top: Gap
Cardigan: Old Navy
Shorts: Loft
Necklace: Dillard's
Sandals: Love Culture

Friday, August 30, 2013

Paisley Cardigan - 3 Ways!

I'm doing my Friday remix post a little different this week.  Instead of  scanning through my archives for all the ways I've worn a certain item, I'm bringing you THREE BRAND NEW OUTFITS!  Imagine I said that in the echoey movie announcer voice.  It will seem more exciting.

This cardigan is a recent purchase from Loft.  Anytime I buy something and want to wear it EVERY DAY, I know it was a good decision.  Anyway, here are 3 ways I've worn it in the past couple of weeks.

#1 - worn to work

#2 - church
#3 - casual date night
Pretty exciting, right?  I think I'll be wearing it quite a bit in the coming months.

Go check out the other remixers! I'm also linking up with Casual Friday  and Favorite Fashion Friday today! 

Outfit details
Cardigan: Loft

Outfit #1:
Dress: Ann Taylor
Belt: Old Navy
Necklace: Bass
Sandals: Love Culture

Outfit #2:
Tee: Gap
Skirt: Old Navy
Sandals: Carlos Santana 

Outfit #3:
Tee: Gap
Shorts: Gap
Sandals: Carlos Santana 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pinned It & Did It - Dots and Florals

When I pinned the J.crew version of a floral dress with a polka dot cardigan, I didn't have a floral dress. Then I found this beauty at Dillard's. Then I was perusing Pinterest one morning when I didn't know what to wear, and saw my inspiration. Brilliant.  

Go check out the other Pinterest inspired looks over at Style Journey.  I'm also linking up with Agi for Tres-Chic.    

Dress: Gibson& Latimer
Cardigan: Old Navy
Belt: Limited
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Shoes: Born

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

August Budget

It's the end of the month again, which means it is time to link up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers.  I didn't spend much time shopping in August, but I still managed to spend most of my monthly budget.  Here's the breakdown: 

Love Culture Pink Sandals: $6 (originally $10)
Loft Orange/White stripe tank: $7 (originally $20)
Loft Plum tank: $8 (originally $25)
Loft Paisley Cardigan: $12 (originally $55)

J.Crew factory chambray popover: $31 (originally $68)
J.Crew factory pencil skirt: $25 (originally $75) -

Total = $89 (originally $253)

While I probably didn't need any of the above items, I really like all of them.  I've worn the pink sandals a lot already!  I am also working on a closet cleanout and realized that I don't have very many nice tank tops, so these 2 from Loft were a good addition.  The cardigan was just a unique piece that I didn't want to pass by.  J.Crew Factory got me with their emails again.  They were offering a "mystery sale", where you could get 10, 20, or 30% off.  I've had my eye on the chambray popover for quite a while, and more recently decided I wanted the red skirt (because I don't have a red pencil skirt, and isn't that a staple??).  I told myself that I would put in the mystery code, and only buy the items if it was 30% off (and then it was 30% off, so I bought them).  I think the popover will be a frequently worn item, as I wear my other chambray quite a bit.  This one is lighter, and I prefer the popover style to the full buttons, so I say it's a good decision.  The skirt is a little bit more on the orange end of the spectrum, but it fits really well, and I still think I will wear it a lot (and now I want the blue one, because I don't have a cobalt blue skirt).  

In September, I really need to focus on some shoe shopping.  I need to replace a few of my frequently worn pairs (nude pumps, gray flats), and I'd really like to find a pair of flat boots for winter.  All my boots have decent heels, which isn't the best for the snow and ice.  I just have trouble finding flat boots that I like.  

I'm also working on a closet cleanout (still), and hope to get a good portion of that dealt with over the long weekend.  

In conclusion, I feel pretty good about August.   I'm still on track for the year, and have about $150 rolling along.  I'm guessing that may be invested in some of my shoe purchases, but we will see. 

So, how did you do this month?




I love this dress, but I hate to iron.  This is a predicament.  It was in my ironing pile for a few weeks.  Then I finally ironed it, and I wore it the next day.  Now it's in the ironing pile again.  I really need to hire a maid to take care of these things for me. Or I need to stop buying things that wrinkle.  

I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Fashion & Beauty Finds.

Dress: Gap
Belt: Old Navy
Purse: Urban Outfitters
Necklace: InPink
Sandals: Carlos Santana

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Awkward Fashion Blogger


I wore this to work a couple weeks ago.  After work, I met up with some friends for Jazz on the Green.  I was going to take pictures at the park by my office, because it's always empty (always = the 3 other times I have gone to take pictures there).  Then there was a whole group of guys playing basketball, so I panicked and figured I would just take pictures when I got to Jazz on the Green

I didn't realize how crowded it would be, and that I would end up in a random parking lot.  I quickly set up my tripod and snapped a few pics, while feeling very self conscious as people stared at me.  Then I switched my heels and blazer for flip flops and a jean jacket and had a lovely evening with my friends!

Fashion blogging is so weird.  

Top: Von Maur
Blazer: Gap
Shorts: J.Crew Factory
Sandals: Anne Klein

Monday, August 26, 2013

Off to College

Classes start at the University of Nebraska this week.  This got me thinking about my freshman year.  In August of 2003 (wearing a really cool blue camo print tee), I packed up most of my belongings into my Civic and my dad's Grand Marquis, and we drove up to Lincoln where I would know exactly no one else in my dorm.  

When I think about that now, it makes me so nervous!  What was I thinking?  I had awesome friends in high school and most of them were going to K-State.  For some reason, I had decided several years prior that I was going to UNL and I never seriously considered any other options.  I didn't even apply anywhere else.  I'm pretty sure everyone thought I was crazy, and they were probably right.  

That whole first week was sort of a blur, but here are some random things I remember:

  • About 4 hours into the 5 hour drive, my dad asked my mom if she had packed his shirts.  She hadn't. They were going on a 1-2 week road trip after dropping me off in Lincoln, so I think they went to the mall to buy him some shirts on their way out of town.  
  • I felt very "freshman" when I went to pick up my books.  I was in line next to a girl who was so obviously (to me) not a freshman.  She seemed like she knew what was going on and not at all nervous.  I later learned that she lived across the hall from me, and was a freshman, and she thought that I seemed confident while she felt nervous.  I quickly became best friends with Anne and her roommate, Brooke.  You may remember them from Friendizona Weekend and other various shenanigans.  
  • My roommate thought the dorm showers were gross, so she just didn't take a shower for the first 3-4 days.  It was August in Nebraska.  Daily showers are kind of important when it is 100-ish degrees outside and you are carrying boxes up to the 3rd floor.  This was not the weirdest thing about my roommate.  She moved out without telling me at the beginning of second semester.  I didn't miss her.  
  • That first weekend, I was invited to a BBQ cookout for the Campus Crusade group.  When we got there, somehow they didn't have any meat, so it wasn't much of a BBQ.  The main thing I remember is playing ping pong with Collin, who ended up becoming a great friend.  You may remember him from the Montana trip.  
  • I was in the Honor's Program, and we were "required" to read Seabiscuit over the summer.  For being a pretty good kid, I was very rebellious about certain things (particularly things that I deemed worthless).  I thought it was stupid to have required summer reading for college so I just went to the movie and skipped the book.  I bluffed my way through the discussion groups after our Honor's Welcome luncheon.  Most of the other honor's kids were shocked and appalled that I hadn't read the book. I was sort of proud of myself.  I still am.    
  • My first day of classes, I was kicked out of my Poli-Sci class for being a Sophomore (my high school had a lot of concurrent credit classes).  The TA just said "If I read your name, you aren't allowed in this class!" and then read a few names, including mine.  I asked him what I was supposed to do, and he said he didn't know and didn't care but I couldn't stay in that class.  I went outside, sat down on a bench and cried.  Then I called my mom.  Then I met with my adviser and got my schedule fixed.  I still don't know why they let me register for that class if they were just going to kick me out on the first day.  It was the only class I was excited about, so it was pretty disappointing.  
Do you remember anything interesting about your first week of college?  

PS - this outfit has nothing to do with going to college.  It's a little but outside of my comfort zone (tucked in shirt, AH!), but I really like it.  

Top: Sunset Rd
Blazer: H&M
Necklace: gift
Belt: Limited
Skirt: Loft
Sandals: Carlos Santana

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Exciting Shopping News

In the past couple of weeks, I've heard 2 very exciting things about the shopping situation in Omaha.

  1. The outlet mall between Omaha and Lincoln is being completely revamped, and will actually be pretty legit.  I've heard rumors of Gap, Loft, J.Crew, and other favorites.  The mall opens in November, so I need to save my pennies! 
  2. H&M is coming to Omaha!!!  Opening in Spring 2014, so I have to be patient, but it will be worth the wait.  
Omaha is really upping the retail game with these changes.  This will greatly reduce my desire to shop when I am on vacation in "real cities" AND I'll get to hit up the J.Crew outlet to actually try stuff on instead of ordering online and just hoping it fits right!  

It's the little things in life, right?   

Dress: Gibson&Latimer
Jacket: Izod
Purse: Dooney&Bourke
Sandals: Love Culture

**I realize I should have written about this with an outfit actually containing J.Crew Factory and H&M items.

Friday, August 23, 2013

EPIC Black Pencil Skirt Remix

Get excited!  It's Friday Remix time with AJ Wears Clothes, and I'm going crazy today with 20 ways I've worn my black pencil skirt.  Then I got all philosophical/economical about budgets and shopping, so you can read my thoughts on that as well!
I bought this skirt at Old Navy a million years ago (okay, maybe more like 8).  I don't remember exactly when I bought it, but I know it was on clearance for $10.  I also know that I paired it with this blazer (also $10) whenever I needed a "suit" throughout college.  I definitely wore my makeshift suit for all my interviews when I was looking for my first grownup job, and I bet no one noticed it wasn't a legit suit at all.

As bloggers, we talk a lot about remixing, and cost-per-wear, and how to make wise budget choices.  I've heard that cost-per-wear should be about $1 for any given item.  By my calculations, I've probably worn this skirt about 80 times, which puts the cost-per-wear right around $0.12.  That's ridiculous.
With that in mind, I realized that (without realizing it) I also consider supply/demand when I am shopping for something.  A black pencil skirt is a wardrobe staple, so by generally accepted accounting fashion blog budget principles, you can spend more money on it than you would spend on something super trendy.  But it's also something you can probably find any time of year at any number of stores.  So while I could have spent $80 on it, and my cost-per-wear would still be reasonable, why would I spend that much money on something that I can find for $10?

In comparison, I bought these sandals last summer for $40.  That's a lot of money for me to spend on a pair of shoes, but I'd been looking for cute and comfortable flat black sandals for about 2 years and hadn't found any that I loved.  These will fall apart before I get to 12 cents per wear, but I doubt I would have a nice pair of flat sandals if I was holding out for a $10 price tag. 

Finally, I will just add that each person will have a different set of items that are harder to find.  Skirts generally work for me, so I won't spend very much unless it is really unique.  Button-up shirts are a completely different story, so I can't go to Old Navy and by a chambray for $10.  Maybe you are the opposite.  I think it depends a lot on body type, and also how frequently you are out shopping. 

If you are still reading, thanks for sticking with me!  Do you think my theory makes sense?

Top: Gap
Skirt: Old Navy
Necklace: InPink
Sandals: Carlos Santana

PS - this skirt also defies the laws of physics, because it still fits me despite the 30lbs or so I have gained since I bought it.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pinned It & Did It

Pinterest is pretty cool.  I don't spend waste as much time on there as some people (you know who you are - I'll judge you as I play Candy Crush Saga), but I do love using it as a source of inspiration when I am just not sure what to wear.  I try to pin outfits from my favorite bloggers throughout the week/month/whatever, and then when I am staring at my closet, I can pull up my inspiration board and have several ideas at my fingertips.  So of course I have to join in on Heather's Pinned It & Did It Link Party! 
HK Style Journey

I love green and I love leopard, so when I saw this collage that Jill (from Good Life for Less) put together waaaay back in January 2012, I immediately pinned it, because PRETTY!  I've worn green tops with my leopard print skirt 2 times (here and here), but somehow forgot that I should wear my green skirt and my leopard top together until I saw Heather's version!  So easy.  So classic.  Pretty much a perfect outfit.  Jean jacket optional for freezing office.

Do you get outfit inspiration from Pinterest?  

Also linking up with Summer Style and Tres-Chic.   

Top: home made by me
Skirt; Target
Jacket: Izod
Sandals: Carlos Santana

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

On the Radio

From 2002 until 2011, I didn't listen to the radio very much.  I was all set with my iPod and my car mp3 player, so the radio was just not necessary.  Then some total jerks decided to break into my car and rip my stereo out, and I really hope they felt stupid when they tried to pawn it and only got about $5 because it was SO OLD. But I digress...

For the past 2 years or so, I've been listening to the radio every day to and from work, and wherever else I might drive.  Over these years, I've noticed a few things about the radio that are just very strange.  As a blogger, I am pretty much an expert at sharing my opinion about frivolous things, so here we go!
  • Modern hit music.  Define "modern" please.  I think if you are going to describe your station as new/modern, you should play mostly songs from this year, or at least the last couple years.  One station in town frequently has their little jingle for new music and then plays something that I remember listening to in high school.  It's been 10 years, okay.  That's not new.  
  • No Repeat Workday!  - this applies to those 80s-now stations.  Shouldn't they have no repeats for several weeks?  I'm making some general assumptions here, but say they are playing music from the last 35 years, and say they stick to only the 100 top songs from each year.  That gives them 3,500 songs to play.  I have it on good authority (Google search), that most radio stations play between 200-300 songs in a day.  This means that I shouldn't hear the same song more than every 2 weeks.  Sure, current hits will get more play, which means I REALLY shouldn't hear the same Pat Benatar song every day on my drive to work.   
  • Delilah - I don't understand where they find these people who call in (sorry if you are one of these people).  I recently heard a guy who wanted to dedicate a song to his friend, who he had asked on a date, and she's been avoiding him ever since then.  Delilah played "Slide" by the Goo Goo Dolls, which includes the line "do you wanna get married?" I bet the guy's lady friend is completely freaked out if she was listening.  I also wonder if they just play the same "callers" over and over again.  I'm sure no one would notice. 
  • Certain Artists - I know everyone has their own opinion, but can anyone explain to me why Katy Perry and Bruno Mars are so popular?  Katy Perry's voice is so irritating - I can't change the station fast enough when her songs come on.  Bruno Mars has a decent voice, but all of his songs just sound like bad leftovers from the 80s.  Am I alone here?  They get played all the time, so I assume most people like their stuff.  
 Do you listen to the radio?  Any pet peeves to share?  Or am I just crazy?

Top: Target
Cardigan: Gap
Skirt: Banana Republic
Sandals: Love Culture

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


It's time for the Literary Junkies Link-up again.  Before I get to the questions, just a quick comment about my outfit.  I've determined that this blazer makes every outfit my favorite outfit.  I'm excited to unroll the sleeves when it gets cooler, and then I can wear it with even more colors!

Anyway, books! Here are this month's questions and my answers: 
1. What are you currently reading? Tell us about it!
I just finished The White Princess by Philippa Gregory.  It is the final book in her Cousins' War series, which I really enjoyed.  I'll probably end up posting a review about the series soon.  Up next is Delirium by Lauren Oliver.  I've heard it is really good, so I hope that is true! 

2. What is one book you think every person should read at least once in their life? Why?
I'm sticking to fiction here.  I think everyone should read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.  It's just such a beautiful story.  Also, the Chronicles of Narnia books are at the top of my list.     
3. Do you think you could ever write a book? If so what genre would it be?
I don't know.  In theory, I think it would be fun to be an author, but I don't think I have the creativity for it.  If I wrote a book, it would probably need to be a memoir (which I don't know if I'm quite interesting enough for anyone to read), or some kind of non-fiction. 
4. Do you listen to audiobooks? Do you look for the same things in an audiobook that you do in one you'll read?
I really like Audiobooks for long car rides.  Generally I am in the car with someone else (usually my husband), so I try to find books that we will both be interested in.  I also try to find a book that is a reasonable length for the amount of time that we will be in the car, so we will be able to finish it, but still have time for listening to music and talking to each other.   

5. Can you suggest a book of each type for others to try:
Fantasy - Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Nonfiction - Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Fiction - The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Romance - eh, I can't really get into romance novels.  I guess I liked Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Classics -
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Young Adult - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Have you read anything good lately? 

Pink Heels Pink Truck

outfit details:
Blazer: Gap
Top: H&M
Skirt: Bass
Shoes: BCBGeneration

Monday, August 19, 2013

General Silliness


These shoes - I love them, but they are ridiculous.  I tend to make some questionable shopping decisions when my nieces are with me, because they just convince me that OF COURSE I need some floral sandals. Good thing these were just $10, so I'm not making expensive foolish choices.  I just need to be creative and wear them a few more times before fall sets in, because I doubt these will be a closet staple for years to come.  

In the spirit of ridiculousness, here are some silly pictures from this outfit shoot.  Sometimes my photographer/husband gets bored of me standing there smiling with my hand on my hip and tells me to do other things.  This time he was like "OK, look away from the camera and close your eyes.  When I say GO, strike a crazy pose!" 

Photography magic, I tell ya.  I should really be on America's Next Top Model.

Top: J.Crew
Skirt: Loft
Belt: Gap
Shoes: Gianni Bini via Dillard's

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back to Normal


When I bought these shorts and this sweater at Loft, I knew I would wear them together at some point.  I think I have a mild addiction to mixing prints!

Anyway, as you may have noticed, it has been a completely crazy summer.  I feel like I have just been running from one thing to the next for the last 4 months.  It's been a lot of fun, but I am ready to get back into some sort of routine again. I've got big plans for going to the grocery store on Saturday, right after I sleep in as late as possible.  It's a glamorous life, I know.    

Sweater & Shorts: Loft
Jacket: Izod
Shoes: Gap
Necklace: Dillard's