Friday, January 31, 2014

#25 - Try, Try Again

After my first attempt at styling this striped dress, I was worried it was a little too juvenile for me.  My second try is much better (partially helped by outdoor photos)!  I think adding the color with a cardigan instead of crazy tights is a better idea.

I'm so far behind on posting my outfits.  I'm officially done with the wearing portion of the 30X30, but I'll be finishing up the blogging portion next week. 

Dress, Cardigan, Tights: Old Navy
Necklace: InPink
Belt: TJ Maxx
Boots: Steve Madden

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January Budget

Well, I got a lot of new things in January, but I only paid for about half of them!  Thanks to some delayed Christmas celebrations, I got some really fun new items.  And then I apparently shopped quite a bit.  Like $32 more than I should have.  Here are the details:

*Denim Jacket
Green/Mint colorblock sweater
Floral bracelet
Black fringe infinity scarf

Old Navy (gift card
Black/Gray Dress
Black/White striped dress (worn here)
Pink blouse (worn here)
*Green jeans
Gray cardigan
Pink bracelet (worn here)
Rhinestone leaf necklace (worn here)

Pink Shirtdress: $7 (originally $60)
*Light Denim jeans (similar): $15 (originally $60)
Orange/White bow-print blouse:  $10 (originally $40)
Striped workout tank (similar):  $11 (originally $23)
*Leopard print flats:  $18 (originally $50)

Cognac wedges:  $11 (originally $22)
*Leopard Pumps:  $15 (originally $30) (worn here)
*Nude pumps:  $15 (originally $30) (UPDATE - I returned these. The color wasn't quite right and they weren't very comfortable!)
*Black moto jacket:  $22 (originally $40) (worn here)

Patterned blouse: $8 (originally $54)

 Total spent: $117 (originally $379)

I'm not super excited about starting off the year by spending so much, but I'm still on the fence about a couple items that I might return, which would bring my total down to less than $100.  I did get quite a few more items from my Wish List (those with an *), so I'm happy about that, but there are several random impulse buys in there as well. There were just a lot of good sales going on and I found cute stuff!

I really (really) need to clean out my closet and make myself get rid of more items.  I'm kicking myself, because I missed the window where my consignment shop will accept winter items.  I need to hurry up and gather my springy stuff, because she starts taking that in February.  Anyway, I need to clean out my closet, make a new wish list, and then keep working toward the goal of buying better/smarter and not just cheaper/more.

As always, I'm linking up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers.

#24 - Winter Must Haves

Today, I'm linking up with Laura and Ada for their Winter Must Haves!  They've been showing different way to style winter staples over the last few weeks, and I've enjoyed seeing their take on all the important winter pieces!  I've got several in today's outfit!

Sweater - I have 2 very full drawers full of sweaters.  It's important when you live in the 5th coldest city in the US
Bold Coat - I'm using this blazer as an example.  I mean, I still wore my big puffer coat over it, but I think it counts as a fun layer! 
Long Necklace - I kind of went a little "WEAR ALL THE NECKLACES" on this day.  I usually wear my 2 short gold necklaces together, but I think the long one adds some interest, too.
Fun tights - these tights are gray, but they kind of look black in the pictures.  I wear black tights or leggings a lot in the winter, but I like having other color/pattern options, to keep things interesting. 
Boots - Did I mention I live in a very cold city?  And we generally get quite a bit of snow, but so far, this year has been pretty dry.  Either way, I wear boots almost every day from about December-March.  I love my boots, but I'm always extra excited when there is warmer day and I can get away with flats or pumps.

Anyway, what are your winter essentials?  Go check out the linkup to see everyone's looks!

I'm also linking up for Tres Chic Thursday, What I Wore to Work, and What I Wore.

Blazer, Sweater, Skirt: Gap
Tights: Old Navy
Boots: Steve Madden
Short Necklaces: gifts
Long necklace: F21

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

#23 - Kansas Day


Happy Kansas Day, everyone!  I may live in Nebraska now, but I am a Kansas girl at heart, so I like to be obnoxious and celebrate Kansas things.  Here are some tips on how you can celebrate my home state's birthday!
  • Make sure to sing "Home on the Range" as often as possible throughout the day. 
  • Dress up like a prairie girl - don't forget the bonnet! (this definitely happened in elementary school, but I didn't have a prairie dress or bonnet, so I was always the prairie tomboy, in jeans and plaid)
  • Create a tornado in a bottle
  • Watch the Wizard of Oz.  And then NEVER EVER say "You're not in Kansas anymore" to a Kansan who is out of state. 
  • If you are more into sports, watch the Jayhawks play basketball.  Rock Chalk!
  • For dinner, enjoy a buffalo burger, some sunflower seeds, and anything made of wheat.  That's pretty much what Kansas is known for, right?  Amber waves of grain! 
For the record, I probably won't do any of these things, except eating something made of wheat.  And I might sing the state song a little bit.      

Shirt, Cardigan, Jeans: Gap
Scarf: H&M
Shoes: Old Navy

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

#22 - Social Media

I'm not as good at social media as I probably should be.  Most of my tweets and Facebook posts are just Instagrams.  Half the time I don't even #hashtag anything.  I do spend more time than I should scanning through everyone else's posts on the various sites.  The other day, John was looking over my shoulder as I checked Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.  His perspective made me laugh.  A few highlights:
  • Why is there an old picture on Instagram?  It's "INSTA" gram.  Like Instant!  
  • Why do people use hashtags on Instagram?  Isn't that a Twitter thing?  
  • WHOA, that's a long Facebook status!  Shouldn't she just have a blog for stuff like that?  
  • Wait, wasn't that on Instagram?  Why is it on Facebook, too?
  • What is a picture doing on Twitter?!  Isn't that why people have Instagram?
  • That's the same picture we saw on Instagram and Facebook!  Why is it on all three?
I was trying to explain the logic, but he has a point.  This is all ridiculous!  I mean, I'm still going to do it, but it is kind of strange!  

Also, I like this outfit.  I'll probably Instagram and Tweet about it.  

Shirt & Skirt: J.Crew Factory
Sweater: Gap
Tights: Old Navy
Boots: Steve Madden

Monday, January 27, 2014

#21 - Forever Young

This is an outfit I created on Polyvore, and it looked like a good idea on the collage.  Then I put it on, and decided the polka dot scarf was too much.  Then I felt like I was trying to look younger than I am.  Each of these items is somewhat "junior-ish," so combining them all just didn't quite work out.  But I had to get to work, so I just went with it.  Not my favorite look, but hopefully no one judged me too harshly.  Be honest, do I look like a 29-year-old pretending to be 19?  Because if you can't trust strangers on the internet to give reliable feedback, who can you trust?

Jacket: Target
Dress & Tights: Old Navy
Belt: Limited
Boots: Steve Madden

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Book Review - Ready Player One

Ready Player One is an awesome book!  I heard about it from RA, who has excellent taste in books!  I didn't read the synopsis, because I wanted to go into it without any expectations.  I thought it would be a book that John might like, so I got the audiobook for our drive out to Indiana over Christmas.  We got about halfway through it, and then I got the book from the library to finish it.  When I finished it, I thought "that might be my favorite book of the year!" and then I realized that since I finished it in January, it was technically my first book of 2014.  So, it might still be my favorite book of the year, but there is time for it to be dethroned!

What to say about it?  It's set in 2044, and the world is in pretty bad shape, but many people spend the majority of their time hooked into a virtual reality (even for school and work).  Unlike some "dystopian future" novels, this actually seems pretty realistic.  The eccentric billionaire creator of this virtual universe dies, and leaves all of his money to whoever can find the easter egg he has hidden within the virtual universe.  Wow, this sounds really dorky.  Trust me, it's good!

Anyway, I loved the characters, and I loved Cline's writing style.  There were a lot of references to 1980's pop culture.  I didn't get all of them, but he explains it enough that I wasn't confused at all.  If you are about 10 years older than me and somewhat into nerdy stuff, you will probably be in pop culture reference heaven! 

It was weird to listen to half and then read the other half.  I'm sure I would have pronounced some of the names and places differently.  I'll add that Wil Wheaton is an excellent audiobook reader!

I think this would make a really cool movie, but I'm not sure how they would handle all the copyright issues.

Have you read this book?  What did you think?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

#20 - Weather Roller Coaster

Happy Saturday!  Are you ready for more weather talk?  This week has been ridiculous!  Sunday was a January record high of 66, and then Polar Vortex 2.0 rolled through and we had zero degree (feels like -20) temps on Tuesday-Thursday.  It's supposed to be nice-ish this weekend (with highs in the 40s), and then plummet again to the single (and maybe negative) digits.  I'm trying to just be grateful for the warmer days when they happen, but these extreme changes are driving me crazy!  I'm hoping February will be more moderate! 

Shirt: J.Crew Factory
Cardigan & Jeans: Gap
Boots: Steve Madden

Friday, January 24, 2014

#19 - Who Am I?

Back in the olden days, teenager magazines would have quizzes to tell you all sorts of useless (and unreliable) things about yourself - like what perfume to wear to prom, or which Backstreet Boy is your perfect boyfriend.  I wasn't really allowed to have those magazines (17, YM, etc), but my friends had them, so we did the quizzes when I was at their houses.  The results were always stupid.    

Then the magical internet showed up in everyone's home, and we could take silly quizzes all day long (and don't even have to calculate our own scores)!  Well, silly quizzes are making a comeback this week, and my Facebook newsfeed is blowing up with them.  I roll my eyes and think "that's so stupid!", but then I click on the quiz to find out which Disney Princess/Tolkien creature/Harry Potter/Star Wars/Downton Abbey/Hunger Games character I am most like.  Since you are dying to know, I am Jasmine/Hobbit/Luna/Leia/Branson/Effie.  Which is weird, because I don't really sense a theme other than 2-syllable names.

Also, apparently I should live in London.  Or Rivendell.  And be in Gryffindor (which makes zero sense, because I am not very brave!)  

So, uh, which Disney Princess are you?

Sweater: Limited
Jeans: Gap
Boots: Wanted

Thursday, January 23, 2014

#18 - Pinned & Did It

When Whitney instagrammed this outfit, I thought it was super cute, and then I realized that all of those items are in my closet.  Better yet, they are all in my 30X30 list!  The night before, I realized that my blue cardigan was in the dirty clothes pile, so I used some quick thinking to save the day.  I think the pink cardigan works just as well, right?

Also, dirty snow isn't the best background, but I'm just happy for some outdoor pictures!  This is the day I had to MacGyver a tripod, since I had apparently left mine at home!    (Yes, "MacGyver" is a totally legit verb - trust me!)

I'm linking up with Heather for Pinned It & Did It and Bri for Third Thursday Threads!  You should too!

Cardigan & Belt: Gap
Shirt: J.Crew factory
Skirt: Old Navy
Tights: Target
Boots: Steve Madden

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

#17 - Texas Tuxedo

This is my first "real outfit" attempt at the denim on denim look.  (Because the last time I wore this shirt with jeans, it was a Halloween costume!).  I think I like it.  I was going to skip the cardigan, but it was too cold!

I apologize for the iPhone mirror photos.  I didn't take pictures at work, because I was so excited that the sun was still out, and I'd be able to set up my tripod.  Then I walked outside and learned that there were crazy winds and it probably wouldn't be wise for me or my camera to attempt such a feat.  Normally, I'd just skip pictures, but I have to document every 30X30 outfit!  So I waited for a lull in the locker room and snapped a few quick shots.

Cardigan & Jeans: Gap
Shirt: J.Crew Factory
Shoes: Target
Long Necklace: Forever21

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

#16 - Book Nerds

Literary Junkies Day!  Here are this month's questions:

1. What are you reading right now? Tell us about it.

I just started David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.  Not very far in yet, but I've really enjoyed his other books.  

2. Out of the 16 books that will be turned into a movie adaptation, which one are you most looking forward to seeing this year? (Article Link)

Can I pick three?  I think I'm most excited about A Long Way Down, because it is my favorite Nick Hornby book.  I didn't even know they were making a movie until I saw this list, so I'm pretty excited.  Plus, it has Jesse Pinkman in it!  I'm also excited/nervous about TFIOS and Divergent.  I loved both books and hope the movies are worth seeing.

3. What was the worst book you've ever read?

Worst book I've ever finished reading: The Casual Vacancy
BUT I've stopped reading a few that were just terrible:  Atonement and Eat,Pray,Love

4. What foods or beverages have you spilled on a book while reading? Anything good?

Ummm, I don't think I've ever spilled anything noteworthy.  I don't usually eat while reading (except Cheerios which don't really matter when spilled).  

5. Do you pictures characters as popular film or tv actors? Or do you create a whole new person in your head?

I don't really make a picture in my head when I'm reading.  But sometimes I am surprised when the movie comes out at what the characters look like, and I can't always explain why or what is different than I expected.  So I guess I subconsciously picture the characters, I just can't articulate it. 

6. Out of all the authors you've read books by, who's brain would you want to pick the most?

This is a tough one, too.  I'm going with Malcolm Gladwell, and I don't think it's just because I'm reading one of his books right now.  He's been able to interview and research really cool people and ideas.  I think it would be interesting to talk to him about how his brain works and where his ideas come from.  

Cardigan: Old Navy
Tee & Jeans: Gap
Scarf: Target 
Boots: Steve Madden
  Pink Heels Pink Truck

Monday, January 20, 2014

#15 - Halfway there (whoa-oh, livin' on a prayer)

Happy Monday!  And happy halfway through the 30X30!  I really love this outfit.  It's simple, but still interesting.  Black, gray, and pink just look sharp together!

So, weekend update!  John's grandparent's were visiting, so we had a fun-filled weekend with them.  We went out to dinner on Friday for my MIL's birthday and then over to their house for dessert and games.  We taught them all Dutch Blitz, which is a super fun and addicting game!  I slept in on Saturday (because sleeping in is magical!) and then we went back over to their house for dinner and more games.  On Sunday afternoon, the guys stayed home to watch football while the girls went shopping.  I may have bought my 3rd pair of leopard print shoes. (so, the answer to my question of which ones to get back in September is BOTH) That's a reasonable number, right?  No?  Hmm...we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Anyway, after a very fun and busy weekend, I'm not really ready for a normal work week, but I suppose it has to happen.  Just 5 more days until next weekend!

Shirt: J.Crew factory
Cardigan & Jeans: Gap
Boots: Wanted

Saturday, January 18, 2014

#14 - Hey Bear!

When we went to Montana/Canada for vacation last summer, one big concern was the potential to meet a bear while we were hiking.  Since I was traveling with responsible guys, we had bear spray, and we made sure to shout bear calls every so often.  My favorite was "HEY BEAR!"  There were no close bear encounters, which proves that yelling "HEY BEAR" is a very good idea.  There's some free advice for your Saturday.

This rounds out my "Blackout" week.  I'll be wearing my black items again next week.  Make sure you go check out Nicole's blog to see other bloggers who are participating!

Sweatshirt, Jeans, Shoes: Old Navy
*I try not to wear all one brand, but it happens sometimes! 

Friday, January 17, 2014

#13 - Emergency Substitutions

Meet item #30!  The gray/white striped blazer.  I realized I have been neglecting it so far this winter and I love it, so I should be wearing it more.  

I've made some other changes to the 30 items.  I went shopping and decided to switch out some of my as yet un-worn items out for some new pieces.  So I'm making the following substitutions:
  • Black wedges out - Leopard pumps in
  • Black dress out - black/white striped dress in
  • Polka dot cardigan out - pink popover blouse in
So, at the almost halfway point, I feel pretty great about my items.  I have a feeling I could remix well over 30 outfits with these items.  This is much easier than I though it would be.  Hopefully I still feel that way in 3 more weeks!  Here's the visual of my final 30 items!

Final 30X30 items

Blazer & Jeans: Gap
Top and Shoes: Old Navy

Thursday, January 16, 2014

#12 - Combat

Have any of you been to a BodyCombat class?  I think it's basically just kickboxing, but the Les Mills "official" version.   It was intense!  I'm not a particularly coordinated or aggressive person, so I wasn't sure how I would like it, but I'll definitely be going back.  After I have a few days to recover.  I just need to get my courage up to try all the other classes.   

This outfit has nothing to do with working out, but until Old Navy decides to send me a bunch of free gear, I won't be posting sporty outfits. 

Sweater: Gap
Shirt & Skirt: J.Crew Factory
Tights: Target
Necklace: Old Navy
Boots: Steve Madden

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

#11 - Not Boots

Get excited - I'm not wearing boots!  The weather finally warmed up enough that flats are a viable option again.  We'll see how long it lasts, but I figured I need to take advantage of the opportunity while I have it. Or I should have only included boots in my shoe options.

Cardigan & Jeans: Gap
Shirt: J.Crew Factory
Shoes & Necklace: Old Navy

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

#10 - Silly Problems

I wore this yesterday.  It's a good thing I felt cute, because I definitely had a serious case of the Mondays.  When I was getting ready, my tights ripped!  This is the first time I've worn them, so I'm not happy about that!  The good thing is that the holes are higher up, so my dress conceals the issue.  And I quickly put some clear nail polish to prevent a run.  Because I don't have a back-up plan for this color of tights.  I'm beginning to think that tights with a pattern are just prone to rip more easily.  (I had the same thing happen in November with some patterned tights).  So maybe I should stick to patternless tights?

After the fiasco with the tights, I drove to work.  When I got to my office, my desk was missing a computer.  Because I took it home this weekend, thinking I might work some.  And then I completely forgot that I had it at home.  So, I had to go get it, and my day started about 45 minutes later than I had planned. 

After work and Zumba, I decided to watch Downton Abbey while I ate dinner.  I had heard that S4E3 had a shocking/upsetting event, but I would not have guessed what happens.  I just think the show could be interesting enough without so many awful things happening.  WHY CAN'T THEY JUST BE HAPPY?

Anyway, I'm hoping the rest of the week is better.  (And yes, I know these aren't real problems, but those aren't fun to blog about).

Dress & Belt: Gap
Sweater: J.Crew Factory
Tights & Bracelet: Old Navy
Boots: Steve Madden

Monday, January 13, 2014

#9 - Blackout Week!

Sometimes I start a challenge and then I find out about another challenge.  And then I just do all of them at once.  It might not be the best plan, but whatever.  You can read all the details on the Black Out Challenge here.  The short story is to not wear black for a week  (or as many weeks of January as possible).  Since about half of my 30x30 items have some black in them, I couldn't do the whole month.  But I think I can manage a week with the other half of my items.  Hooray for non-black neutrals!  So this is outfit number 1 of the Blackout challenge, and outfit number 9 of the 30X30.  Warning - this polka dot top may be in most of my non-black looks!

I really like the top/cardigan/skirt part of this look.  I think it would be much cuter without tights, and with my navy ankle strap flats.  I just might have to redo it in the spring.   

Cardigan: Old Navy
Shirt: J.Crew Factory
Skirt: Gap
Tights: Target
Boots: Steve Madden

Saturday, January 11, 2014

#8 - Layers

Saturday outfit posts might be necessary so the 30X30 doesn't drag out to far into February posts.  This is my first attempt wearing this dress as a skirt.  The outfit didn't turn out quite as cute as I imagined it. 

Anyway, it was a crazy first week back after the holidays.  Too much stuff to get done and not enough time (at work or at home!).  I'm hoping to have a very productive Saturday, but I'll probably end up wasting the day sleeping and/or reading.  You know, important stuff! 

Dress (as a skirt) and Cardigan: Gap
Shirt: J.Crew Factory
Fleece Leggings: TJ Maxx
Boots: Steve Madden

Friday, January 10, 2014

#7 - Reciprocal

I don't remember a whole lot of specifics about middle school math class, but for some reason, I always think about reciprocals in the context of outfits.  You know, where 1/2 is the reciprocal of 2.  You just flip the top and the bottom.  This outfit is basically the reciprocal to this outfit.  Instead of a black skirt and red cardigan, I'm wearing red jeans and a black cardigan.  It's an easy way to remix.

See, Mom and Dad, your investments in my education were totally worth it! 

Also, my hair is different in these pictures, because I braided it the night before.  So it's less curly and more like tiny waves.  Probably not something I will try again! 

Shirt: J.Crew factory
Cardigan: Gap
Jeans: Old Navy
Boots: Steve Madden