Friday, May 29, 2015

Chambray and a Maxi Dress

Maxi Dress: J. Crew Factory (similar)
Shoes: Target
Necklace: Kendra Scott via Rocksbox (exact)
Earrings: Lucas Jack via Rocksbox (similar)
Ring: Can't remember?(similarish)
Clutch: Clare V. (exact)

This was the perfect outfit for a date day. Finding time without baby can be a challenge, and since the husband has Fridays off, I decided to take the day off as well. The weather last Friday was cool (for Florida) and the layers were perfect for inside a movie theater as well as walking around outside. We started off the morning with brunch at the Egg and I (seriously so good), watched Avengers: Age of Ultron (which was actually pretty darn entertaining) and walked about the shops. It was low key and the perfect way to spend the day. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! My little girl is turning 1 and we have a cute little party planned! I'm thinking some DIY tutorials and lots of pic to come...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Navy Stripes and Polka Dots

As a relativity new blogger, I've been struggling with temptation to buy lots of new, shiny things to wear instead of looking at what's already in the closet and working with that. Or maybe that's just me? I really do wear what I picture, but having to come up with something fresh everyday can be a challenge.

After May's budget catastrophe, I decided wear only pieces have had for a at least a year in today's outfit. (With the exception of my Kendra Scott tassel necklace I got as a Mother's Day gift).

Cardigan: Loft (similar,upgrade)
Shirt: Boden (exact)
Shoes: Madewell (solid nude)
Necklace: Kendra Scott (exact)
Earrings: J. Crew Factory (exact)

I'm pretty pleased with the results and at my efforts and pattern mixing, so while the pieces are older, the whole outfit feels new! Win-win! Seriously, how can you go wrong with polka dots and stripes?!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May Budget

I lost my shopping mind this month.

So much so that I'm embarrassed to post my budget, but I'm hoping by being transparent about my spending, it'll keep me in check in upcoming monthly budgets.

In an effort at full disclosure, here's what I got:

Loft Chambray Blazer: originally $128.00, marked down to $99.99, 40% off at $59.99
Loft Diamond Print Maxi Dress: originally $79.50, 50% off at $39.75
Ann Taylor Scalloped Lace Dress: $179.00, 50% off at $89.50 + $20 reward = $69.50
Loft Outlet Long Pearl Stand Necklace: $7.99
Loft Outlet Multi-strand pearl bracelet: $6.99
Loft Outlet Coral Crochet Pencil Skirt: $41.99
Ann Taylor Striped Lace Yoke Tee: $54.00, 40% off at $34.02
Aneya Boutique Designer Inspired Arrow Necklace via GroopDealz: $6.99
Loft Outlet Cream Lace Top: $32.99 (not pictured)
Loft Outlet Raspberry Stripe Dress: $35.99 (not pictured)
Kendra Scott Rayne Tassel Necklace (gift)

May budget $150 - $336.20 = $186.20 over budget

Looking back, what killed my budget was the Loft Outlet and the Ann Taylor lace dress. I still would have been over, but the damage wouldn't have been nearly as bad. The dress was an end of the month purchase I felt it was just too good of a deal to pass up, and thankfully (for my wallet), I do not go to the outlets often, so hopefully I can write this whole thing off as a one off. If I go nuts again next month, you have my permission to virtually smack me upside the head!

Here's my review on all the goodies, brace yourself, it's a long one. :)

Loft Chambray Blazer (see how I wore it here, here and here)
I actually bought this blazer in April, but it didn't arrive until after my budget post. All the reviews online said to order down two sizes, so I originally ordered in a 14, but it was sooo tight in the arms and shoulders. The size 16 was completely sold out, but luckily it briefly popped back up and I was able to pick it up in the larger size. My only gripe is that the one button is really low and in an odd location, but I don't button my blazers and love the color and lightness (desperately needed in spring/summer in Florida). I think adding a button/button hole would completely solve the problem. I may attempt it myself, or just leave it to the professionals/tailor.

Loft Diamond Print Maxi Dress (see how I wore it here)
When I was pregnant with my daughter I pretty much lived in maxi dresses. After having her, I felt so self-conscious about my new shape that I felt like I couldn't wear a maxi dress because of belly bulge. But oh how I've missed the comfort of my beloved maxi dresses as the days have gotten hotter and hotter. I decided to give this dress a try, fully anticipating trying it on, hating it, and returning. Instead, I LOVE it. So comfy, so soft and with some good shapewear and paired with a blazer or cardigan, perfect. Belly bulge be darned, sometimes you just got rock a maxi. For reference, I ordered in an XL and it's a bit roomy, but a L would have been too tight.

Ann Taylor Scalloped Lace Dress
I've been on the lookout for a cream lace dress for about a year now, and when I saw one at Ann Taylor, it was instant love. When it went 50% off AND I had a $20 reward card, I knew I had to snag it and at least try it, especially since the larger sizes at Loft and Ann Taylor send to sell out quickly. It arrived yesterday, so I haven't had a chance to play with it much, but I'm hoping to wear it to Little Bit's first birthday party this Saturday. I just can't believe my baby is going to be one!

Loft Outlet Pearl Necklace and Bracelets (see how I wore them here and here)
These were complete impulse purchases. I saw them as I was checking out - marked way, way down - knew didn't have anything quite like them, and they filled a hole in my wardrobe. As a plus, I like how they're more of a deep cream than white.

Loft Outlet Coral Crochet Skirt (see how I wore it here)
I'm on the fence about keeping this skirt. I adore the crochet, it's so, so pretty, but I'm a little self-conscious about how it fits in abdomen and I can only think of a few ways to style it. I'm worried it won't be worn very often. The hubby really likes it (probably because it shows some leg) so I'm going to play around with it some more before I make a final decision. I got this in a 16, and it's actually a little lose in the waist, but going down a size would have made the aforementioned abdomen bulge worse.

Ann Taylor Striped Lace Yoke Tee (see how I wore it here)
Plus-size or not, I love a good stripe tee, and the lace detailing on this top *swoon.* I got it in an XL, and material is soft and lightweight, which will be perfect in the upcoming summer months.

Designer Inspired Arrow Necklace (see how I wore it here and here)
I so wish this necklace as still for sale so everyone could buy it. Though, it's probably I good thing it isn't, because I'd be tempted to buy it in more colors. The quality isn't the best, but I love the simplicity and it looks good by itself or layered. I love finding pieces that have a nod to my school, but aren't in your face collegiate attire. And for $6.99, it's a fun way to play around with a new look without having to commit a lot of money. Though one day I'd love to get the real deal from Kendra Scott.

Loft Outlet Cream Lace Top (see how I wore it here and here)
I do not care for the sleeveless look on me. I'm always wearing cardigans or a blazer to cover up my arms, and that just doesn't fly in Florida in the summer. I love that I was able to find a lace top with sleeves! This shirt is not lined, so I do have to wear a tank top underneath, but I wear a cami with pretty much everything, whether it's lined or not, so not a big deal. I got this in an XL, and it's just a smidgen short in the length. I like my tops longer, but it's perfect tucked into a skirt.

Loft Outlet Raspberry Stripe Dress (see how I wore it here)
I. Love. This. Dress. It's hands down one of my absolute favorite things I've worn on the blog. I feel like I look thinner in it, and it's light weight, which is a must in Florida summers. I got it in a 14, though I probably would have gone up a size if it had been available. It's just the tiniest bit tight when I sit down (which I didn't realize when I tried it on in the dressing room).

Received Kendra Scott necklace as a Mother's Day present (see how I wore it here, here and here)
I adore this necklace. It's the perfect length, in my favorite shade of mint, the tassel on the end adds a little bit of interest, and best of all, it was a gift! My husband got my heavy hints and got this for me for Mother's Day. Good man!

Whew, so there is it. I've been a bad, bad girl and my wallet does not thank me. I'd say as penance I would refrain from not buying anything in June, but I'm learning towards keeping the black Kendra Scott necklace I got from Rocksbox and I recently ordered this black and white chevron dress (with short-sleeves added) from eShatki. I've heard such good things about the brand and I got an AMAZING deal on it. I've also got my eye on this navy and cream stripe skirt midi. I love the length, bold stripe and pockets! I've been wanting a bold stripe skirt for awhile now. It's practically exploded on the blogsphere and more than anything I want to prove that us curvy ladies can totally rock this look as well.

In conclusion: I guess sometimes it's good to be bad? For my closet at least, that is... 

Be sure to head over to Franish and check out the other Budgeting Bloggers!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Chambray and Coral Lace

I feel like my outfits have been on the dark side lately, with a heavy emphasis on the black. Today I wanted to break things up and bring on the color!

I got this skirt from the Loft Outlet earlier this month and I've been debating how to wear it. I like the chambray, but I'm not sold on the knotted look, maybe too 1980s? But tucked in it also looked off. Maybe I'm over thinking it?

Things I do like about this outfit: the combo of skirt and heels are making my normally chubby legs look nice and thin. :) Curvy girl tip: Nude heels with a bit of lift seriously do wonders for the legs.

Oh, and if you've been flowing for awhile, you might notice I had my hair chopped off! I loved my long locks, but they were super damaged. I was in denial, until one day last week I couldn't get a brush through my hair, it just snarled at the halfway point. I was sad to see my hair go, but overall, I'm happy with the change. I'll probably eventually go back to my long strands, but isn't half the fun of cutting it off growing it back out?

Skirt: Loft Outlet (blush option, solid coral option)
Pumps: Nine West (similar)
Necklace: Loft Outlet (similar)
Watch: Target (exact)
Pearl Bracelets: Loft Outlet (similar)
Spike Bracelet: SageKandCo (exact)
Earrings: Fossil (exact)


I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore; make sure to check out what all the other ladies are wearing this week!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Make It Work Monday: Lace, Leopard and Red Pumps

Welcome to Make it Work Mondays, where I find fashion pin from Pinterest and make it work for the curvier lady.

Today's inspiration from Blasfemmes' post Lace and Leopard. While I'd never wear leather pants in real life, I LOVE the contrast of the tough leather with feminine lace and the pop of pretty! I tried my best to copy the look, but it's still just not quite there. Maybe a different lace top? Something with a scallop hem? Now I'm going to be on the lookout for a cream 3/4 length, scallop lace top, because I really love Sandra's! Suggestions anyone?
Top: Loft Outlet (similar)
Pants: The Limited (exact)
Pumps: Piperlime (similar)
Watch: Target (exact)
Bracelet: SageKandCo (exact)
Ring: JewelMint (similar)
Purse: Clare V. (exact)
Sunglasses: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Nail Polish: Ulta Ruby Red (exact)

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Please take a moment to remember our fallen heroes.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pop of Pink

Today I'm excited to be linking up with Bri from Work Clothes, I Suppose for Third Thursday Threads: Bare you Legs! So here are my legs an all their pasty glory... Seriously what's up with my face and arms being a completely different color than my legs? So not cool...

Yesterday I realized I've unintentionally been wearing black and white all week. (mental head slap) So today I decided to just roll with it, and keep on with the black and white trend. But at least to liven things up, I decided to add a pair of bright pink flats. 

This shirt holds a lot of fond memories for me. The last time I wore it was two years ago for my 30th birthday celebration. It was a lovely evening with friends; we enjoyed the most yummy chorizo and frosty margaritas. Part of the reason the night stands out so vividly is because the very next day I found out I was pregnant! With my daughter's first birthday approaching, I've found myself becoming a bit retrospective and sentimental. When I saw this shirt in my closet, I just knew I had to wear it and take a moment to think back on all the crazy, wonderful changes in the past two years. I love how certain pieces of clothing, like certain songs, can bring you back to a happy time.

Blouse: Loft (similar)
Skirt: Loft (exact)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar, adorable D'Orsay)
Clutch: Clare V. (exact)
Necklace: Kendra Scott via Rocksbox (exact)
Earrings: Lucas Jack via Rockbox (similar)
Watch: Fossil (current version)
Bracelet: Loft (similar available in white, pink or green)

Be sure to hop over to Bri's blog to see all the other great outfits!

I'm also linking up with Tara at Mix Match Fashion for What I Wore to Work!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ikat Patterned Dress

 Dress: J. Crew Factory (see options below)
Cardigan: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Belt: Old Navy (similar)
Shoes: Payless (exact)
Earrings: Mariana Jewelry (exact)
Watch: Target (upgrade, exact in rose gold)
 Ring: Pandora (exact)

After being up all night with a fussy, teething baby, so I'm glad for the ease of a pretty dress and cardigan. Outfit lifesaver. And if you're too tired to fix your hair, a braid doesn't look too bad when paired with sparkly earrings.#LifeOfAMommy

I may be sleep deprived, but I'm finally getting to wear my J. Crew Factory ikat dress! It's been at the tailor's having the hem lengthened, which, for me, makes all the difference, I just can't do short, short dresses. And for whatever reason J. Crew and J. Crew Factory run short on me - about three inches above the knee. At least they do provide some seem allowance, so I was able to have it lengthened. Sadly, the dress sold out rather quickly, but I did find some cute black and white (and one navy and white) alternatives, all under $75!:

Option 1: Sleeveless Scuba Shift Dress // Option 2: Taylor Printed Fit-and-Flare Dress  //  Option 3: Tahari by Arthur S. Levine Dress (my personal fav of the bunch)  // Option 4: Diamond Print Maxi Dress

Today I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday! Be sure to head over to Lindsey's blog and see what everyone is wearing this week. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lace, Stripes and Pencil Pants

Happy Tuesday, friends! Today is my "hump day" since I'm taking off Friday to make the most of Memorial Day weekend. I can't wait! The tentative plan is to put baby girl in daycare and then have a mommy/daddy day and go to the movies, have's a day date!

However, we had an accident this weekend which resulted in hot candle wax being split all over the living room carpet, so we may be doing some DIY instead. Sunday, my sweet baby girl projectile vomited allover the living room carpet, and in my husband's haste to grab some paper towels, he knocked over a large, lit candle jar. The hot wax immediately burned the carpet. The carpet is ruined and the spot is in a place that can't be covered by a rug. On the bright side, no one was hurt, nothing caught fire, and we wanted to replace the floor anyway, just not right now. Baby's first birthday party is next weekend, so we may just have to live with the embarrassment of a huge, two-foot wide, black burn mark in the carpet. Or fix it this weekend.

Anyway, back to the outfit post. I love the simplicity of a pair of pencil pants and a shirt with some visual interest. This tee from Ann Taylor is super comfortable and I adore the lace yoke detail. Question: what do you wear with a see-through lace yoke? Going braless is sooo not an option and while I chose to wear a black cami, I feel like it kind of ruins the beauty of the lace. I tried a nude cami, but it wasn't quite the right shade and looked odd.

 Top: Ann Taylor (exact)
Pants: The Limited (exact)
Shoes: Madewell (current version)
Necklace: Kendra Scott (exact)
Earrings: Kendra Scott (exact)
X-ring: Baublebar (very similar)

It was extremely bright outside when I took these pictures, so that's why I'm looking down in just about every one. Below is my one attempt to look at the camera, what a squinty mess!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Make It Work Monday: Striped Blazer and Cropped Jeans

Welcome to Make It Work Monday where I take an Pinterest outfit pin and make it work for the curvier lady.

Today's outfit inspiration: a super cute striped blazer featured on LilyStyle. I love the gray tee paired with black and white stripes and gold accessories. The tee and jeans are so comfy, yet the blazer and accessories make it chic!

Blazer: Target (similar, Target version)
T-Shirt: Target (exact)
Jeans: The Limited (exact)
Shoes: Madewell (current version)
Watch: Fossil (current version)
Necklaces: GroopDealz (the real McCoy, cute alternative) and  French Charmed
Bracelets: Kreatons via That's Too Cute! (similar) and Loft (similar)
Ring: Baublebar (very similar)
Earrings: J. Crew Factory (exact)

I changed up a few things in my outfit vs. the original. I wore a v-neck T-shirt because my round neck gray T-shirt is currently a wee bit too tight after baby. I don't own booties, so I went with my favorite pair of leopard print flats. And since I didn't have the same pieces of jewelry, so I went with same vibe by sticking with gold accessories. But I think I need a lariat necklace in my life. There's so many cute options out there.

links to shop: Mini pearl beaded, gold, super inexpensive and silver (if gold's not your thing).

One of the things I've enjoy about this Make It Work exercise is that it's given me new ways to wear older items in my closet. I've had the blazer for a few years, but it doesn't get a lot of rotation, so it was nice to break it out of the closet. These jeans are super comfy and I always love any reason for wear my leopard print flats. I've been wearing this arrowhead necklace I scored from Groopdealz like crazy lately. Is just so easy to layer with other pretty jewelry pieces!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Monday. Only four more days until the weekend. :)


Friday, May 15, 2015

Old Love, New Friend

During pregnancy, I rocked out the maxi dress like it was going out of style. Sometimes I miss those glorious days when you could just let that belly hang out there in all it's rounded glory. Seriously, almost every day was a maxi day, and you can see I how wore in them in several my-week-to-week bump pictures.

But after having my daughter, I was too self-conscious about my new shape, which now includes a flabbier belly, to even attempt the maxi dress. But as it's gotten warmer, I knew I needed to find a new approach to summer-wear other than pants. When I saw this diamond print dress online at the Loft, I decided to give it a try, fully anticipating to hate it and return immediately.

But I love it! I'm majorly crushing on the poppy, red diamond pattern. The material is soft, and thankfully shapewear and some smart layering can cover a multitude of flaws. I also think belting it helps pull in the waist and give the dress more shape. I just used the belt it came with, but I also think it would look great with a skinny belt, or maybe a larger leather braided belt. For reference, I got it in an XL, but I probably could have gotten away with a L, it runs a little big and long.

I'm so pleased to be returning to my old love of maxi's with my new friend - this beautiful dress. Since buying, and wearing, this dress I've been rocking maxis like crazy. (See how I've worn as a dress and skirt.)

Cardigan: Old Navy (exact)
Maxi: Loft (exact)
Sandals: Target (exact)
Necklace: CherisDesigns via Etsy (exact
Earrings: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Watch: Fossil (current version)
Ring: JewelMint (lovely druzy option)

Note: I used my rubber band trick to roll my cardigan sleeves!

I also played around with this dress paired with my chambray blazer. I'm really liking the versatility of this jacket! I just don't see myself jumping on the jean jacket bandwagon (love it on others, but it just reminds me too much of middle school) so this blazer is a nice alternative. I know it has gotten some negative reviews online, but I definitely suggest going down a size, which helped solve some of my problems.

I actually wore this dress for the first time last Saturday when we got together my mom and mother-in-law for Mother's Day dinner. I didn't get great pictures, so I had a great excuse to wear it again today. (I did capture one pic of me and my little unwilling twinsie.)