Tuesday, June 30, 2015

So tired...

All I can say is thank goodness for easy, simple dresses. My baby girl was up all night and the best my poor, tired brain could do was to throw on something easy. I have feeling this Loft dress is going to continue to be a lifesaver. I'm in love with the longer sleeve length and it hits at just the right part of the knee. Plus, the tie is right at the smallest part of my waist. I think it would look so cute belted, and come fall, I can easily see it with a pair of riding boots, cardi and a fun scarf. Is it terrible that it's not quite July and I'm already wishing it was fall? A girl can dream I suppose.

This dress is currently an extra 60% off sale which brings it to just over $20. You're going to want this beauty in your closet ASAP. It also comes in a coral, and if they still had it in my size, I'd be snatching it up right this minute!

Necklace: Kendra Scott (exact)
Watch: Fossil (blingy version)
Ring: Deja Vu Boutique (cute alternative)
Sandals: Target (exact, currently 20% off)

Another possible title for this post could be "How to look squinty in photos." :) I was determined to take pictures by these beautiful crepe myrtles, sun and wind be darned!

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy! Be sure to head to her page to see what everyone is wearing.

Monday, June 29, 2015

June Budget

Kendra Scott Rayne necklace: via Rocksbox Originally $80 + credits: $29
Baublebar beaded tassel lariat: Originally $42, $14 discount: $28.00
Mossimo pleated maxi skirt: $24.99
J. Crew Factory eyelet tee: Originally $79.50 marked down to $38.99
Urbanite posy bracelet: $8.00
SageKandCo spike bracelet: $8.00

June total $136.98 - $150 budget = $13.02 under budget!
($105.51 in savings)

After last month's budget fiasco, I'm so proud to report that I'm under budget! I tired a lot of stuff, sent a lot of stuff back, and this is what I ended up keeping:

Kendra Scott Rayne Tassel Necklace (see how I wore it here, here, here and here)
I fell in love with the Kendra Scott necklace my husband gave me for Mother's Day, so I was super excited when this beauty came in my Rocksbox. I love how the more neutral color seems to go with almost any outfit and it immediately looks put together. I've found myself wearing in almost non-stop, and since I had some referral credits, I got a great deal on it as well. It just seemed like a no brainier.

Baublebar Beaded Tassel Lariat (see how I wore it here, here and here)
In a previous post I talked about how much I've been wanting a lariat necklace. I found a bunch of great options, but this pearl one was hands down my favorite. Baublebar had a great sale over Memorial Day weekend and I had some credits built up, so I decided to give it a try. I've been a little disappointed with Baublebar in the past, both of my X-rings have had stones fall out and the gold is turning, but so far this necklace has been holding up well.

Mossimo Pleated Maxi Skirt (see how I wore it here and here)
I love a good maxi skirt (or dress) and I like how soft and feminine this skirt is. It really is perfect for spring/summer. I does run extremely large. For reference, I usually wear an XXL in Target clothing and I got this in L and it's still a little big. It does wash very well, and I haven't had any problem with the pleats falling out.

Factory eyelet tee (see how I wore it here)
Apparently I can't get enough of lace/eyelet tees, because I bought another one this month! I really love the zigzag detailing on the sleeve and it's a little longer in length than the lace top I bought last month, so I think it'll go better with pants. Plus it's fully lined, which is a nice bonus. For reference, I got this in an XXL.
Urbanite posy bracelet (see how I wore it here)
This bracelet was pretty much an impulse purchase. I've been getting back into wearing bracelets and I wanted something with a little bit of color to it. When I saw this one from Urbanite in my favorite color, for only $8, plus free shipping, I snatched it up. It's well made and has a good weight; it definitely seems like a more expensive piece. I just need to remember to wear it more often! 

SageKandCo spike bracelet (see how I wore it here)
This Stella and Dot cluster bracelet has been making the rounds on the blogs. I love the looks of it, but I'm not willing to willing to spend $59 on the latest trend. I have a feeling it's something I'll wear for only a little awhile, and getting the knock off version for $8 makes me feel a lot less guilty if I'm not wearing it a year from now. In the meantime, how fun is this bracelet? I love the soft rose gold paired with the spikes, and it looks great paired with a boyfriend watch.

I did try several things that just didn't work out as much as I really, really wanted them too.

What didn't work out:

 eShakti Chevron Stripe Poplin Dress
This dress was such a disaster on me. It's partly my fault. I didn't measure like I was supposed to, I just found the my size at Loft and picked the closest size from eShakti, which came out to be a 16W. Should work, right? So, so wrong. I couldn't even get the dress zipped. I guess I could have tried doing real measurements and reordering, but I just didn't think the dress was flattering on me, it makes me look super wide from the side, so back it went.

Ann Taylor Ribbon Stripe Full Skirt
I've been really, really wanting a black and white stripe A-line skirt so bad and I had hoped this one would fit the bill. First off, it doesn't look like it does online, it's much fuller in real life. I guess from the front it doesn't look too bad, but it flared up in the back made me feel like a three bums instead of just one, so it was pretty easy to say no to. On a smaller girl and I think it would have looked awesome. My hunt for the perfect black and white stripe skirt continues...

American Eagle Mid-Rise Jegging Ankle Jeans:
Too short, to distressed, to much whiskering, these jeans just not quite right. But they are soooo comfy. Seriously, the stretch was perfect. And they fit great. For reference, I ordered these in an 18 since the reviews said they run a little tight. I almost kept them just because they felt so good, but I just don't think I'd be comfortable with that much distressing and I don't think the whiskering (which isn't showing up in the photos) is doing me any favors. I still want a pair of ankle jeans with light distressing (so I can still wear them to work on casual Fridays) and in a lighter wash then my favorite Limited crops, so I may have to try American Eagle again, just in a different wash. They were that comfortable. I'm leaning towards trying the super stretch jegging in dark destroy and cuffing to get the ankle length. 

What I'm on the fence about:

eShakti Her Fifties Colorblock Skirt
I mentioned above that I thought I'd be all clever and just match my measurements to my size at Loft, so I ordered this skirt in a 16W. With the elastic waistband it fits, but it's a little snug. I could make it work, but it might be better to order it in a size up for comfort. It just takes forever to get anything from eShakti since it's coming from India and has to clear customs. Also, I'm not sure how much I'd end up wearing it. Is it me, or is it super fluffy? Or am I just not used to a fuller skirt? It's not showing up clearing in the photos, but it's white and navy and it has pockets! I love skirts with pockets! I could see it paired with a variety of different color tees, maybe with a sweater in the fall. Heels would be a must. I'd have to play with it. Thoughts? Keep, exchange or return?

Do you keep a clothing budget? If so, how did your do this month? I'm linking up with Franish, so be sure to check out all the other Budgeting Bloggers! 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Game of Spoons

In an effort to better understand and dress for my body type, I thought the most logical first step would be to figure out what exactly my body type really is. My hubby said an hourglass and I think I'm more of a pear, but really neither was quite on the mark. By stumbling around on the internet, I found a site to Calculate Your Shape that tells you your shape based on your exact measurements. So, after fumbling around with a "measuring tape," (I couldn't find my sewing measuring tape, so I used yarn and a ruler, I know, so classy!) I found out that I'm...a Spoon!

So what exactly is a Spoon Body type? According to ShopYourShpape.com: "As a Spoon Body type (sometimes called figure 8), your hips are larger than your bust and you have a defined waist. Your hips have a 'shelf' appearance, you are prone to gaining weight in your tummy and have a tendency towards love-handles. While you may gain weight in your upper thighs and upper arms, your lower legs and arms are shapely and your best assets." Yup, that's pretty much me, flaws and all!

I found it that while I'm following some of the "rules" for dressing a Spoon body type already, there's definitely ways I could be dressing better for my figure.

Are you a Spoon like me? Below are some tips for dressing your curvy figure!

Look for tops that will help balance your lower half while accentuating your defined waist and camouflaging any tummy bulges:
  1. Tops with empire waists.
  2. Off the shoulder, boat-neck tops, wide V or U necks.
  3. Tops with rouching or embellishments around the bust.
  4. Tops that skim your midsection without adding volume.
  5. Sleeveless tops that show off your shoulders.
Look for bottoms that will minimize your lower half:
  1. Pants with straighter legs, think bootcut.
  2. Avoid details such as whiskering, embellished pockets & flap pockets.
  3. Choose solid colors in darker washes.
  4. Skirts, especially pencil skirts, were made for you.
  5. Choose wide waist-bands to camouflage tummy-bulges.

Apparently the goal is to "draw attention to your upper body while deemphasizing your tummy and hips to create a more balanced appearance and create the illusion of an hourglass figure." Food for thought; now I just need to go through and reevaluate my closet...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Black Pants, Stripe Top and a Cardi

Do you ever feel like you go through clothing phases? For while I was all into color everything...especially pinks, rich purples, deep green...lots of jewel tones. While I still love color, lately I've found myself gravitating toward neutrals. Something about it just seems more polished. For example, I originally had on a bright pink sweater with outfit, and it was fun, but the white just seems more pulled together.

I've also really been into long necklaces. I really like this lariat necklace and my Kendra Scott necklaces because they hit in the right place and don't drape awkwardly around my chest. No boob hookage is a good thing ya'll.

The only thing I'm not liking is my sandals. I know that the flip flops are a bit of a fail, I'm in the search for the perfect black sandal, but my toes just needed to be free for summer. How silly is it that I'll wear a cardigan (it's freezing in the office) but I draw the line at closed toe shoes. Girl's got to have standards I suppose. :)

Top: Ann Taylor (similar)
Sweater: Target (cute alternative)
Pants: Express (exact)
Sandals: Target
Watch: Target (exact)
Necklace: Baublebar (exact)
Ring: Charming Charlie's (similar)
Earrings: Baublebar (similar)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Black and Tan

During the Christmas holidays of my sophomore year of college I worked at Express. I thought it would be so awesome to be surrounded by pretty clothes and all the lovely discounts, but basically I just greeted people and told them about the day's sales (whether they wanted to hear it or not). And after hours of mind numbing standing there, after closing time, I helped put the store to rights. I still have nightmares about it being 2 a.m. and still having the fix the jeans wall. *shudder* Silly, now that I look back on it, but I guess as much as I love clothes, clothing retail just wasn't for me.

There's a point to this story, I promise. :)

The season I worked there, our dress code was black and tan. I pretty much lived in caramel colored dress pants and black shirt. It's funny how things come back around, because here I am 10 years later, and I'm basically wearing my old work uniform. Hopefully, it's a little more grown up and polished, but I guess as much as things change, they still kind of stay the same.

When going super simple, I think wearing an element with a subtle pattern really helps to liven up the outfit. If I had worn a plain white tee, the outfit would have still looked nice, but the subtle dot print helps give it a little something extra. A patterned skirt or cardigan would have done the same trick. This outfit has a bit of a fall feel to me (wouldn't it look cute with riding boots?) so I paired it with my favorite Target sandals to give it a bit more a summer feel.

Do you find yourself repeating looks from years ago? Or maybe I'm just stuck in a rut.

Sweater: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Top: Loft
Skirt: Loft (similar)
Sandals: Target (exact)
Necklace: Kendra Scott (exact)
Watch: Fossil (current version)
Bracelet: Gojgana Twist Cuff via Rocksbox (exact)

I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore! Be sure to see what all the other lovely ladies are wearing this week!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Father's Day Adventures

It may be two days after the fact, but Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband! He's been such an amazing daddy to our little girl and it's been so sweet watching their relationship develop over the past year.

Technically, Sunday was my husband's second Father's Day, but since last year was crazy trying to adjust to life with a newborn, we didn't do much to celebrate. I really wanted to make this year special, especially since he'd done such a great job surprising me for Mother's Day! Thankfully, Pinterest, once again, saved the day. Seriously, what did we do before Pinterest?

Did you ever read those "Choose Your Destiny" books as a child? Well, the Dating Divas has this amazing "Choose Your Own Father's Day Adventure" template where Dad chooses how he wants to spend his special day.

I started out with the template from Dating Divas, but made some modifications in design and content to make it more specific for my husband. :)

M's super into superheros, so I designed in bright red and blue and comic-style fonts.

To give you an idea, here's how it started:

"We love that you're so strong and tough! 
Would you like to go on an adventure with us? 
You get to choose because it's your day!
So you do think ya or nay? 

Yay: go to page 2
Nay: Sorry that isn't an option! Go to page to 2 anyway!"

M's first choice was whether he wanted to stay home for breakfast or go out to eat. 

He chose to stay at home, so I cooked up brunch of yummy eggs, bacon, waffles, pineapple orange juice and coffee. 

Breakfast was baby approved. :)

The next step was to make a plan for the day. M's choices were shopping (at a man's store), movie, hike/beach walk or play tourist.

He originally picked tourist and I thought we'd go to the marine park, do a maze, and pop in all the tourist shops that are practically in our backyard, but M had another idea...he wanted to get out of town, so we played tourist in Destin, Fla. instead.

By the time we were ready to go, it was baby's nap time, so we decided to take a scenic drive down 30A. It worked out perfectly; baby A got her nap and we spent the worst of the heat of the day touring around in air conditioned bliss. (With the heat index it was 104 Sunday!)

By the time we got to Desitn, baby had gotten a good nap in and we were ready to roll! There aren't a lot of bookstores where I live, so M wanted to go to Barnes & Noble first thing. I suppose that's a touristy thing to do, right?

We did lots of window shopping. I'm wanting Sophie Kinsella's Finding Audrey and I've been working on a collection of the Penguin Classic cloth cover books, but we managed to walk out of the store only buying Starbucks Frappuccinos.

Have you tried the new s'mores flavor? Seriously, it's so, so good. It was like a party in my mouth. You can see in the picture that even baby A is wishing she could have of this caffeinated frozen goodness.

Next, we went to Destin Commons for some shopping.

I didn't want to go into a bunch of girly stores since it was Father's Day, so we just kind of window shopped. I didn't take pictures of everything, mainly because it was blistering hot and we just looked sweaty.

I did snap in pic in the beef jerky store, simply because it amused me. Here we are in Florida, and the jerky was from home, the Tennessee Smoky Mountains.

We tried our best to stay out and explore, there's so many places to go in Destin, but finally the heat got to us, and we had to admit defeat. It was just too darn hot yesterday. So we ended back into town and made a (unscheduled) stop to Target to load up on baby food and diapers for the coming week.

It was time to M to make his next choice on how he wanted to spend his day! He could either have a home cooked meal or go out to eat. He was craving Mexican, so we decided to go to Los Rancheros.

I realized after taking a few bites, that I forgot to photograph my food...and I call myself a blogger... so here's a pic of my half eaten meal. Just keeping it real here.

The refried beans where a hit!

No day would be complete without dessert, so M's last decision was whether he wanted to have homemade chocolate chip cookies, ice cream or chocolate. He picked ice cream, so we tried out this really cute retro ice cream shop called the Pink Pelican.

M picked Tennessee Whisky and I got Apple Strudel for me a A to share.

As you can see in the picture above, we were wiped by this point.

"Choose Your Own Father's Day Adventure" was a success despite the heat. It was a fun day, though looking back, I think we spent most of the day eating. There's worse things you could do I suppose. :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

MIWM: Colbalt Pencil Skirt and Striped Blazer

Happy Monday friends! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend celebrating all the dads out there. :)

It's time for another edition of Make it Work Monday: where I find outfit inspiration on Pinterest and make it work for the curvier lady.

Today's inspiration is from Robyn Vilates. Can we talk for just a second about how much I LOVE this outfit on her? The stripe blazer, the blue skirt and funky tee = perfection. Not to mention she's 22 weeks pregnant in this picture and looks freaking amazing. I was quite large at 22 weeks, so I might just be the tiniest bit jealous. :)

As much as I love this outfit on Robyn, I soooo don't like it on me. I thought I would, but it's just not right. I may have a relaxed work dress code, but I don't think I can get away with a graphic tee so I changed it out for a polka dot one, and I think the outfit lost all it's fun.The blazer is longer, the skirt isn't long enough, something just isn't quite right. That being said, I don't think it's a terrible outfit, but it's not a great one either. It might be worth revisiting to see if I can get it to work better, because I love the inspiration so much.

 Blazer: Target (similar)
Cardigan (in photos below): (similar)
Shirt: Target (cute alternative)
Skirt: J. Crew (very similar, inexpensive option)
Shoes: Madwell (current version)
Watch: Fossil (similar)
Necklace: Target (similar)
Bracelet: Gojgana Twist Cuff via Rocksbox (exact)

It's a million degree and super humid in Florida. It took about two minutes into taking pictures this morning to realize there's no way was the blazer going to last through the day, so I switched it out for a tan cardigan and liked the outfit a lot better.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Chambray Blazer and Stripe Dress

Today I'm linking up with Bri from Work Clothes, I Suppose for Third Thursday Threads! This month's challenge is to wear a jean jacket. As you can see, I'm cheating a bit. I love denim jackets on other people, but I don't like them on myself. I immediately think of my 80s/early 90s childhood and I've so been there, done that. (Remember stonewashed denim, bedazzled everything, at least three pairs of scrunch neon socks? *shudder*) However, I really do like how jean jackets look on other people, and it's been awhile since I've tried one, so maybe it's time to revisit the idea? Maybe something like this one from Macy's.

This dress is a few years old, and I'm sad to admit it's a bit tighter (and shorter) than when I first got it, but I love the softness of it and a blazer helps cover the bulge. I seriously thought about not wearing it, but I'm glad I rocked it anyway. Nothing's going to fit exactly the same as before baby, but it's either time to embrace the shape or hit the gym. :) (And maybe put down that slice of cake, but what's the fun in that?)

I saw a meme on Pinterest that says "I wish I were as fat as the first time I thought I was fat."

Made me chuckle anyway. Have a great Thursday!

Blazer: Loft (similar)
Sandals: Target (exact)
Belt: Target (exact)
Clutch: Clare V. (exact)
Necklace: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Watch: Fossil (very similar)
Bracelet: Kreations (cute alternative)
Ring: Loft (similar)