Saturday, August 30, 2014

#30 - Finale!

Outfit #30 means I am officially done!  Whoo!!  I'm working on an epic recap post next week, and then I'll be wearing everything else in my closet!

Happy Long Weekend! 

Jacket: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Tank: Gap (exact)
Shorts: Gap (exactsimilar)
Shoes: Sperry (exact)

Friday, August 29, 2014

#29 - Almost Done

Well, the 30x30 is coming to an end.  I had to get this shirt in one more time, since it inspired the whole challenge in the first place.   

In even more exciting news, as you read this, I'm probably driving across the Midwest on my way to visit my family for the long weekend.  Yeah, I was just there in July, but I'm defenseless against the requests of my nieces, and they thought I should come to celebrate their birthday.  I kept checking flights (which were in the $600 range - what happened to cheap flights?), and had pretty much given up, when I thought "hey, I can just drive it!" So I've got a few audiobooks to make the trip more interesting, and I'm sure I will be completely exhausted when I get back from having way too much fun.  

I hope you all have a lovely long weekend! 

Jacket: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Top: Gap (option)
Skirt: Loft (similar maxisimilar minisimilar knee length)
Shoes: BCBGeneration (similar)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#28 - Like+Love+Bling

I recently discovered a couple seasons of What Not To Wear on Netflix and have been watching them while I do things like fold laundry and iron.  I just love Stacey and Clinton - they are so snarky but still sweet.  It's just such a fun show!  I wish it was still on!  Are there any similar makeover shows still happening?

Stacey and Clinton tend to come up with little sayings to help the women know how to shop or how to put together an outfit.  One episode I recently watched included them saying "Pick and item you love, pair with an item you like, and then add bling!" For some reason, this really resonated with me.  I want to LOVE all my clothes, but honestly, I don't love things that are super plain.  So I need to make sure I have some neutrals that I really like to pair with my colorful printed items that I love.  I think this outfit is a good example.  I love the skirt (super a lot!).  I really like the sweater.  And then I added accessories.  Pay no attention to the crooked belt.  (I should really keep a full-length mirror in my car so I can make sure I'm put together before I take pictures.)

My main complaint with WNTW is that they straighten everyone's hair.  Come on, makeover stylists!  Curly hair can be pretty, too!!!

Sweater: Loft (similarsimilar)
Necklace: Limited (similar, similar)
Belt: Gap (similar)
Skirt: Macy's (exact)
Sandals: Target  (exactsimilar)


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#27 - Summer Book Challenge Update

Well, the Summer Book Challenge is over as of September (check out Megan's blog for more details), so here's my final list.  I mostly finished, and not for lack of reading enough.  I just didn't have many options in the category of "finish a book you couldn't get through the first time."  Basically, if I stop reading a book, it's pretty bad.  I shouldn't try again.  Anyway, for anyone who is interested, here's my full final list of what I read for each category, and my rating of the books.  I was pretty good at writing book review posts early in the summer, so I included links to my full reviews for those.

Read in May: 95 points
Read in June:  55 points
  • 5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 200 pages long - The Rosie Project (295 pages) 5 stars! (my review)
  • 10 points: Read a book from the children’s section of the library or bookstore - Walk Two Moons (280 Pages) - 4 stars
  • 20 points: Read a book that was/will be adapted to film in 2014 - This is Where I Leave You  (352 Pages) - 4 stars
  • 20 points: Read a book with “son(s),” “daughter(s)” or “child(ren)” in the title - Cinderella Ate My Daughter  (244 Pages) - 4 stars
Read in July: 30 points
Read in August: 10 points
 Total: 190 points (out of 200)
I was getting into a bit of a reading rut, so this challenge helped inspire me about what to read this summer.  My to-read list is out of control, and sometimes when I look at it, I just don't even know where to start.  The good (and scary) news is that there are quite a few books coming out this fall, and I'm already on the hold list at the library, so I should get them pretty soon.  I just hope I don't get them all at once, because I'll have to read quickly before they are due back!

Have you read anything good this summer?  So I can add it to my ever-growing list!  
Top: Gap (similarvaguely similar)
Necklace: F21 (exactsimilar)
Skirt: J.Crew Factory (exact style in other colors)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar without captoe)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August shopping

Another month is coming to an end, and a decent amount of shopping was done.  Unlike some people who have done the 30x30 challenge, I didn't promise not to shop for the month.  My collage is somewhat limited this month, because I did mostly outlet shopping, which isn't easy to find online, so most of the above items are close, but not exactly what I bought.  I'm sure I'll be posting outfits featuring these items very soon once the 30x30 is over!  

Gap factory black/white skirt: $13 (originally $45) (similar, similar)
Gap factory orange/blue skirt: $13 (originally $45)
Gap factory gray/white striped tee: $3 (originally $23) (similar)
Gap factory white tank: $2
Loft outlet maroon dress: $12 (originally $50) (similar)
Loft outlet lace tee: $22 (originally $35) (similar)
Macy's floral skirt: $15 (originally $65) (similar)
NY&Co striped pleated skirt: $15 (originally $70)
Target mint flats: $5 (originally $20) (similar)
Target gold flats: $8 (originally $17) (similar, similar)
Target navy sandals: $8 (originally $17) (similar)

Total: $116 (originally  $407)
Earned (selling consignment): $28.60
Total out of budget: $87.4

I feel pretty good about my purchases this month.  My skirt collection was starting to look a little shabby, so I'm getting rid of a few of my old favorites, and am happy with my pretty new options.  I was super excited when I found a replacement for my super favorite H&M lace tee that I've completely worn out. 

Otherwise, I added a couple pairs of cute flats to my shoe collection, because shopping at Target is always dangerous.  And I bought a maroon dress.  This is a big deal!  I don't think I've worn maroon since I was allowed to pick out my own clothes.  I've just never liked it.  And then it was so popular a couple years ago (all oxblood, all the time), so I wasn't into it.  But the dress was pretty, and $12, and I don't have anything like it, so it's worth a shot.  I'm sure I'll need help figuring out what colors go with it!

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

#26 - Last Hurrah

Well, I think this skirt has come to the end of the road.  I've worn it about a million times (okay, maybe 20) over the past 2 years, do I think I've gotten my $8 out of it.  I'm a big fan of knit pencil skirts, because they look nice, but are really comfortable, and don't need as much ironing.  But they do tend to get worn out faster than a woven pencil skirt.  It's probably good I don't spend more than $10 on them!  I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for a new green skirt! 

It's Tuesday, so I'm linking up with Laura 

Jacket: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Shirt: Gap (optionoptionoption)
Belt: Gap  (similar)
Skirt: Target (exactsimilar)
Sandals: Target(exactsimilar)

Monday, August 25, 2014

#25 - Another Weekend, Another Wrap-Up

How was the weekend?  Mine was pretty good.  John and I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy on Friday night.  It was pretty good.  I actually liked it more than most of the recent superhero movies.  My apologies to everyone who loved The Avengers, but I didn't.  On Saturday, I had a coffee shop date with a friend, but neither of us drank coffee, because we are cool like that. Then I just spent the rest of the day doing miscellaneous things around the house.  Sundays are generally the same around here - church, lunch, housework, church, dinner.  Sometimes our Sunday school class hangs out in the evenings, which we did again this weekend.  And in an interesting turn of events, I made a last minute decision to visit my family next weekend.  I had a quick video-conference with my nieces to tell them, and they are pretty excited.  My campaign for favorite aunt continues...

And now I'm a little concerned that I need to leave town in just a few days!  At least I'm driving, so don't have to worry about airline approved packing.

Cardigan: Gap (similar)
Tee: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Skirt: Macy's (exact)
Shoes: Old Navy (optionoption)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

#24 - Mostly Repeat

Here's an outfit that I wore at the very beginning of the challenge (during the Des Moines weekend), but I didn't take official pictures.  I really liked it, so I wore it again and just added a cardigan for my cold office.

Cardigan: Gap (optionoption)
Necklace: Old Navy (similar)
Belt: Madden (similar)
Dress: Target (similar)
Sandals: Target (exactsimilar)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

#23 - Meetiversary-ish

By my estimations, John and I met 10 years ago this week.  We don't actually remember meeting for the first time, so we don't know what day it was, but it was the first week of college in 2004.  And classes started on the 23rd, so it was probably right around here.  As a sentimental girl who likes an excuse to celebrate at any occasion, I really wish I remembered the day/moment when we met, but the first week of classes is such a blur, and we were meeting all the new people who lived in the dorms, so we just don't recall specifically meeting each other.  This was not love at first sight.

My first official memory of John is from the weekend before or after classes started.  I don't think I've shared this story before, but it's entirely possible.  It was Saturday night pretty late, and a bunch of people were just hanging out on the 4th floor where John lived (I lived on the 3rd floor).  A few of us were talking about what churches to go to the next day.  John didn't have a car, so he had plans to ride with his roommate to a church that I also wanted to try out.  I asked if I could go along, and they said sure.  Then they said they were going to the 8am service, so we needed to meet at about 7:30.  And I was like "nevermind! I'll go by myself to the later service!" and then John asked if he could ride with me, because he didn't really want to wake up so early.  His roommate said the late service started at 10:30, so we planned to meet at 10.  Another guy asked if he could come with us.  So, Sunday morning, I took 2 freshman boys with me to church.  Neither of them would say more than 2 words.  I was trying to be friendly and get to know them, and they were just super quiet.  It was so awkward.  Then we got to church, and the parking lot was packed, but there were no people milling around.  So we went to the information desk and apparently the next service didn't start until 11.  Which means we had 30 more minutes of awkwardness.

Anyway, we survived and ended up becoming really good friends.  We went to church together every Sunady (and I think we tried out every church in Lincoln over the next few years!)  In February of 2005, the 2 guys went with me to Lawrence, KS for a concert and met one of my best friends from middle and high school.  She asked me which of the guys I liked, and I was like "Oh, no - we are just friends!  No romantic interest at all!"  And then less than 2 years later, John and I were engaged, and she got to say "I told you so!"

So, that's the first story I remember about my husband.  I don't think they'll be making a movie about us any time soon, but I think we're pretty cool.   Do you remember the moment you met your spouse?

Sweater: Loft (similarsimilar)
Necklace: F21 (exact, similar)
Shorts: Old Navy (exact)
Sandals: Love Culture (similarsimilar)

Friday, August 22, 2014

#22 - Writer's Block

New hardest part of the 30x30 is that I apparently don't have 30 days worth of things to say in a month.  So let me just talk about my outfit.  I like it in theory, but I think the proportions are a little bit off.  I still need to take this skirt in a couple inches, because it's still way too big.  And the cardigan is a bit more fitted than the shirt, so I think it looks a little funny.  In a normal world, I would have switched out for a longer cardigan, but in 30x30 world, this is my only option. 

Don't forget to take the survey if you haven't yet!   

Cardigan: Gap  (similar)
Top: Old Navy (similarsimilar)
Belt: Chinese Laundry (similar)
Skirt: Gap  (similarsimilar)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar without captoe)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

#21- Wind Machine

When taking outfit photos, I usually forget my wind machine.  But some days, when I'm taking frantic photos on the side of Kohl's so I can grab a quick dinner of champions at Chick-fil-A before taking care of the 2-year-olds at church, the wind decides to show up.  And the reflection of my pink blazer on my face makes it look like I'm wearing blush.  No need to spend extra time on make-up!  Just wear bright colors!  

I'm so excited that Bri picked a Third Thursday Threads theme that fell into the rules of my 30x30.  LBD for the win!  Go check out the other looks here.  

And please take my survey if you haven't yet!      

Blazer: Gap (option, option)
Necklace: InPink (exact)
Belt: NY&Co (similar)
Dress: Ann Taylor (similarsimilar)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar without captoe)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

#20 - Two-Thirds Done

Outfit #20!  Which means only 10 more outfits in the challenge.  Here are my middle ten looks.

I think my favorites are the floral skirt and the pink blazer (#11 and #13).  Which one do you like the best?

Also, if you haven't yet, please take my blog survey!  

Cardigan: Gap (optionoption)
Necklace: F21 (similarsimilar)
Tee: Gap (optionoptionoption)
Skirt: Loft (similar maxisimilar minisimilar knee length)
Shoes: Old Navy (optionoption)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

#19 - Survey Says

Most of you probably don't know this, but my day job is at a market research company.  I deal with surveys a lot, so I'm kind of surprised I haven't done a blog reader survey before.  Most recently, Ashley's post reminded me that I wanted to do one of these.  It's pretty short, because Survey Monkey is only free if you keep it to 10 questions!  I'd really appreciate you taking a couple minutes to answer the questions, so I can then have data to be nerdy about.  And then I'll probably share the results, and be like "what, 99% of my readers are female!"

I'm linking up with Laura for Confident Twosday!

Top: Gap (option)
Skirt : Banana Republic (similarsimilar)
Belt : Gap (similar)
Sandals : Target (exactsimilar)

Monday, August 18, 2014

#18 - Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Monday!  Since Navy Week is over (but you can still link up until midnight!), here's a rare 30x30 outfit that doesn't actually feature anything navy.  Pretty sure it is the first one of the challenge so far.

Anyway, how about a little weekend update?

Friday evening, we went to a cookout for John's department.  We played croquet and I was terrible.  It seemed like it was going to rain all night, but never actually did.  And my hair grew fluffier and fluffier as the night progressed.

Saturday morning, I had a long overdue phone date with one of my sweet friends from high school.  It was so great to catch up with her.  I really need to prioritize keeping in touch with friends!  Then I spent the rest of the day doing random household chores - this pretty much happens every weekend if I don't want my house to spiral into a complete mess.  Saturday evening, we went over to John's parents' house for dinner and games.  We hadn't seen them in forever, so it was fun to catch up!

Sunday we had church, and then did more miscellaneous chores around the house in the afternoon.  After evening service, we had a Sunday school class get-together, which is always a good time.

All in all, it was a pretty good weekend - a nice mix of socializing and productivity.  How was your weekend?

Jacket: J.Crew Factory (exact)
Scarf: H&M (similar)
Dress: Ann Taylor (similarsimilar)
Belt: Steve Madden (similar)
Sandals: Target (exactsimilar)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

#17 - Lady Plume

For the majority of my life, I have had one hairstyle - parted in the middle, long, air-dried curls.  Recently, I've been pinning the middle back like in these pictures, just for something a little different.  John calls this hairstyle "Lady Plume." I searched on Pinterest to see if this is really a plume hairstyle, and it's really not.  Maybe if I added a feather.  But then I'd probably get even more Pocahontas comments.    

Posting every day for the 30x30 really has me throwing out some weird stories, huh?

Sweater: Loft (similarsimilar)
Dress: Target (similar)
Necklace: F21 (similarsimilar)
Shoes: Old Navy (optionoption)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

#16 - Item Counts

Since I like keeping track of things in spreadsheets, I'm again using Excel to keep track of my 30x30.  I have a tab where I'm keeping a count of how many times I've worn each item, and a tab where I have my full list of outfit ideas, and mark off when I wore it and when I blogged it.  It's really handy!  I'm considering doing this all the time, but it is a bit time consuming.  

Just for fun (because I'm so fun!), I looked at my item counts from last time and compared to this time.  I thought the results were interesting.  Without planning it, I have almost the exact same numbers as last time:

item typeLast timeThis time

Considering that it is summer now, instead of the dead of winter, I have shorts instead of jeans, and more skirts than layers.  But I thought it was funny that I had the exact same number of tops.  I guess 9 is the magic number!  If you've done a 30x30, I must know if you chose 9 tops!

Shirt: Old Navy (similarsimilar)
Shorts: Old Navy (exact)
Shoes: Sperry (exact)