Sunday, January 31, 2016

Thoughts and Whatnots 1.31.16

Cranberry cardigan: one (four days ago)  |  two  (four months ago) |  three (10 months ago)
Amazing what a difference a few months can make! :)

Blog Love:

On the Teal and Polka Dots:

Favorite Sales:
  • Extra 40% off sale at The Limited (no code required)
  • Extra 60% off sale at the Loft (no code required)
    • Adore this neutral striped cardigan.
    • The prettiest lavender pocket blouse. I tried this on in a L store and the color is so much prettier in real-life than it looks online. Sadly I need an XL, which wasn't available in store, otherwise I would have bought it!
    • Professional, yet fun, garnet pencil pants. I tried these on in store in a different color and think they run large...a 14 fit...I can't remember the last time I fit a 14 anything at the Loft. But, seriously wouldn't these three items together make an awesome outfit? Maybe with this scarf to tie everything together?
  • 50% off everything at J. Crew Factory (prices as marked)
    • I really like the look and wash of this chambray shirt. I have one from the Loft, but the fit's never been quite right, so I think it's time to find a replacement. I'm definitely ordering this one to try.
    • Love the sassy, girly bows on these neutral flats
    • Every closet needs a pink gingham button-down shirt, right? 

  • What I'm watching: Kid you not, we have four movies going right now: Minions, Mockingjay Part I, School of Life and The Nanny Dairies. Maybe one of these days we'll manage to finish one. Maybe...
  • What I'm crushing on: Watching Age of Adeline and Lisa's lovely flatlay has renewed my love for brooches! I love this star pair set (I just got them in the mail and they're gorgeous in real-life) and have a case of the wants for this firecracker trio and vintage-inspired pearl and gold-leaf pin.
  • What I'm looking forward to: Not having a sick kiddo. Poor thing has been sick since Wednesday with a fever, runny nose and cough that keeps her up almost all night. I took her to the doctor on Thursday and she is slowly starting to get better. We're all on night four of no sleep and beyond ready for some relief!
  • Coming up on the blog: February Currently on Wednesday and a recap of my first month of Project 366 (the coolest project where you take a photo everyday for a year).

Friday, January 29, 2016

Closet Inventory

After getting fed up with my disaster of a closet, I decided it was time for a major clean out. Tearing through the piles of clothes on the floor, under the bed, in the laundry room - or by some miracle actually hanging in the closet where they belonged - was a constant source of stress. Especially in the morning. Nothing worse then knowing exactly what you want to wear but can' Complicating the mess is the fact that I have to share my closet with a boy (boo) and thought wood hangers were a good idea. Such space wasters.

Post clean out, I had nine trash bags of clothes and one bag of shoes that went to Goodwill. I still have an overstuffed bag to send to Thredup and items to put up for sale on Poshmark. Don't worry, I'm not running around naked and clothesless, even after the huge purge, I feel like a have a ridiculous amount of clothes.

I'm kind of mortified by the sheer volume of clothes I was hanging on to. To be fair, a chunk of it was maternity clothes and things that no longer fit after dropping a dress size. But still, so.many.clothes. I had so much, I didn't even know what I had, nor the opportunity to ever wear it all. When you think about all the money that was spent on those clothes...ugh, sickening.

Clean out complete, I was inspired by Fran and Anne's closet inventory posts, and decided to do one of my own. So here's what's currently in my closet:

Tops: 56
Sleeveless: 4
Short-sleeve: 16
3/4 sleeve: 8
Long-sleeve: 28

Sweaters: 60
Cardigans: 33
Pullovers: 24
Ponchos: 1
Kimonos: 2

Bottoms: 22
Cords: 2
Jeans: 2
Dress pants: 2
Leggings: 1
Shorts: 2
Skirts: 13

Outerwear: 23
Blazers: 12
Puffer vests: 4
Jackets: 3
Coats: 4

Dresses: 18
Sleeveless: 8
Short-sleeve: 7
3/4 sleeve: 2
Long-sleeve: 1

Shoes: 44
Heels: 9
Dress flats: 8
Boots: 5
Loafers: 4
Tennis/walking shoes: 5
Sandals/flipflops: 13

Accessories: 33
Purses: 4
Clutches: 4
Light-weight scarves: 15
Heavy-weight/blanket scarves: 8
Hats: 2

Total items: 238*

*This doesn't include belts, socks, undergarments, T-shirts and pajamas.

I'm not going to lie, the final number kind of socked me. I'm not one for a minimalist wardrobe, but after looking at the numbers, it still seems so excessive. Maybe I should reevaluate in six months. I'm definitely in between sizes at the moment and I have quite a few items that are on the cusp of being too big. Not complaining, it's a good problem to have for sure.

On a positive note, every single piece of clothing is now in the closet where it belongs. No more piles of clothes on the floor, or hiding under the bed, or taking up space in the laundry room. I did purchase a few items to help me get organized including four square wire baskets for $3 a piece at the "Dollar Spot" in Target and splurged on thin velvet hangers.

Now I've just got to get my husband's half straightened out. His side is still all plastic hangers and clothes he hasn't worn in 10+ years but refuses to get rid of. Do you think he'd notice if every week I took out one dated piece until they were all gone? Once it's completely organized, I have a grand plan to DIY custom wood shelves and rods, paint the closet and possibly do an accent wall, and put a pretty mirror over the dresser as a finishing touch. My dream is to turn my closet into a clothing oasis of amazingness.

Now that my closet is organized, I've discovered it's about 75% fall/winter items when it's only cold enough to wear them maybe 25% of the year. I definitely prefer long sleeves and layers, but I need to work on balancing out my closet!

My goal is to do a closet inventory once a year and stay more on top of the holes in my closet vs. buying all the pretties. Questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

January Budget

Budget for first quarter: $600
Spent in January: $232.44
Budget remaining: $367.56

A new year, a new budget! After almost a year of clothing budgeting, I've decided to switch from a monthly to a quarterly budget to give myself a little more spending flexibility. I also decided to stop including my blogging income because it was making it too easy to overspend. However, I do plan to continue to include clothing sales in my budget, if I can get my act together to sell something...

I smugly thought by mid-month that I was only going to have two purchases to share, but...silly me...the lure of J. Crew Factory's 50% off clearance was too strong. Even though I spent more this month than originally intended, I'm really happy with my purchases! Everything feels so cohesive.

Banana Republic black skinny jeans (see how I wore them here)
I purchased these jeans as a replacement for the black straight leg jeans I unsuccessfully tried to turn into skinny jeans. Whoops. I got them in a size 16, and find them to be true to size. They have good stretch and are a nice, saturated black. I wore them to work and no one noticed I was wearing for me.

American Eagle Denim X skinny jeans (see how I wore them here)
I've been wanting a pair of non-distressed, dark wash jeans that are Friday workday appropriate. I decided to give these jeans a try when they went on sale for $19.99, and ordered them in an 16L since the regular was sold out. They are a little long, but I prefer to cuff my skinny jeans, so it isn't a deal breaker. They are seriously the comfiest jeans I've ever owned, they feel more like super soft, stretchy leggings. Word of caution...the blue dye bleeds so WASH BEFORE WEARING.

J. Crew Factory Uptown Dress Coat
While there isn't much of a need for a wool coat in Florida, I know I am going to need an extra layer in Nashville next month. I took a chance since this coat was a final sale item, but it's really gorgeous in real-life. The color is great and it's very well-made. The reviews said it runs small, so I ordered an 18, but I probably could have gone down a size. It's still relatively tailored and not overwhelming large, and it'll be perfect with lots of layers underneath. I may take it to a tailor to have the sides slimmed. We'll see...

Loft Gray Knit Midi Dress (see how I wore it here)
I'm sad this dress isn't still available to buy, because it's soooo comfortable! I found it on the final sale rack at my local Loft and a size L fits just fine...thank goodness for elastic waistbands! It's one of the those super easy, throw on and go items and so soft it feels like pjs...perfection.

J. Crew Factory confetti sequin tee (see how I wore it here)
I've been lusting after this shirt since before Christmas, but it was sold out. I had all but given up on it until the 50% off clearance sale and found it back in stock in my size! I got an XL and it runs true to size. My only gripe is that the way the sequins are sown on makes the shirt a little itchy, so wearing a tank underneath is a must. It's also hand-wash only, can't say I'm excited about that.

Factory embroidered dot sweater (see a sneak peek of it here)
I got the red version of this sweater as a gift and liked it so much I snagged the white version during the 50% of clearance sale. I ordered an XL and found that it runs a little large - it's a longer length than most J. Crew Factory sweaters and has extra room in the arms and waist, but I really like the more generous fit and it doesn't look frumpy.

Madewell Mira flats (see how I wore them here)
Tired of all my cheap, uncomfortable flats, I decided to find a quality pair that fit just right and didn't give me blisters. I'm really happy with these flats from Madewell. The leather lining helps reduce chaffing and the size 9 is true to size. The black is available in very limited sizes, but the plum wine is still available in almost all sizes. So closet needs those too, right?

What I received as a gift:
Since I was sick leading up to Christmas, I didn't get several of my Christmas presents until after I posted my December budget. I love all the goodies I got this year. :)

My step-momma took me post-Christmas shopping at Loft where I picked up the stripe foil dot tee (see how I wore it here), navy foil dot tee and Loft pendant (see a sneak peek of it here). I got both shirts in an XL and found them to be a little long, but the L was way too small. I love the built-in pattern mixing of the dot and stripe tee, and the simplicity of the navy tee. The Limited Piped Blazer (see a sneak peek of it here) is an XL and has a more boxy, long fit, but I love how the pipping gives it a little something special. I got this Factory embroidered dot sweater in an XL, and as I mentioned above, it has a looser, longer fit than most factory sweaters. I love the cheery color and gold dots, and have a feeling I'll be wearing it non-stop next holiday season. This J. Crew Factory pink sweater is also an XL and fits true to size. It's a thinner knit that's perfect for Florida winters. Won't it be perfect for Valentine's Day? My husband got me this Pandora Leaf Ring (see how I wore it here) as a belated present and I love it. My favorite gift by far, I've been wearing it non-stop. It's the perfect statement piece without going over the top, and it coordinates well with my wedding rings. I usually wear a 7, but this ring is an 8 so I can wear it on my middle finger.

Looking forward:
In February, I want to concentrate on the holes in my closet created by my closet clean out. For example, I donated my too large Target mustard pencil skirt, so I just ordered the J. Crew No. 2 pencil skirt in double-serge wool in tangy olive while it was on sale. I'm really hoping it lives up to the rave reviews. I'd also like to add a few more dresses with sleeves to my closet, so I'll be on the lookout for those as well.

Whew, that's a wrap to a very long budget post. Do you keep a clothing budget? Let me know how you did this month in the comments below.

//  I'm sharing my finds with Budgeting Bloggers on Franish. //

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Add a Little Sparkle

I'm convinced that a little sparkle is the perfect pick-me-up. Well, that and extra large caramel lattes, my toddler's giggles, red velvet cake and a new shoes. How can you not feel a little joy in a shirt sprinkled with sequins?

This top has been making the rounds on the internet since before Christmas, and I couldn't wait to join the ranks of blogger cliche. I hopped over to J. Crew Factory and was heartbroken to discover my size was completely sold and stayed sold out. Then a few weeks ago J. Crew Factory had a huge 50% off clearance sale. Apparently the shopping gods where with me because the shirt was there. IN.MY.SIZE. and 50% off. I snagged it and the most gorgeous wool coat (for only $55) and rushed to checkout before my beautiful shirt could go out of stock again. Anyway, it obviously made it to me since I'm wearing it in pictures today. Hooray for shopping success!

Shirt. J. Crew Factory (exact in limited sizes, cute alternative)
Sweater: Loft (similar open cardigan)
Jeans: American Eagle (very similar)
Booties: Vince Camuto (exact in limited sizes, cute alternative)
Clutch: Clare V. (exact)
Belt: Target (exact)
Earrings: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Watch: Target (upgrade, steal)
Ring: Pandora (exact)

These American Eagle jeans are another recent purchase. They feel like leggings they're so soft, stretchy and comfortable. Word of warning though, wash these jeans before wearing...I didn't and had blue finger nails and a little bit of dye rubbed off on my booties. I'm hoping that a damp cloth and Dawn will remove the dye. Otherwise I'm going to be ticked my $19 jeans discolored my $150 shoes. :( Suggestions on how to remove blue dye from suede?

I'm sharing a bit more about my recent denim, shirt and coat purchases (among others) tomorrow with my January budget recap. Spoiler, it was a month to spend all the monies. Darn sales. Amazing for my wardrobe, terrible for my budget. 

//  Sharing on Wore I Wore.  //

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Most Comfy Dress

I love outfits that look fancy but are really so freaking comfy, it's like you're fooling everyone into thinking you're polished, but in real-life you're wearing secret pajamas. That's what this soft jersey knit dress feels like - the comfiest pjs ever with an elastic waistband perfect for a food baby (or in my case a food baby + post-baby flabby belly). I've accepted that no amount of dieting is going to give me a sleek tummy, and I could probably do crunches or something, but that just makes too much sense, so for now I'll stick to camouflaging dresses. :)

I found this dress for on final sale for $19 at my local Loft and had to scoop it up. You can't see it in these photos, but it has the prettiest flutter sleeves (that will be great come spring/summer) and I love the high neckline. Sadly, my dress is no longer available, but I've listed some cute options below.

For me, the trick to wearing a midi dress or skirt is to pair it with heels, otherwise my legs look short and stumpy. I can't do anything about the ghostly whiteness of my legs, but I did Photoshop out all the bruises. One of my kiddo's favorite activities is to jump on my legs and I tripped over, and broke, the baby gate - leaving me with a particularly nasty bruise below my knee, which I forgot all about until I saw them in all their glory in these photos. Whoops.

I decided to pair this dress it with a plum cardigan I rediscovered during by closet clean out and kept my jewelry simple with statement earrings and a floral brooch. After seeing Lisa's flatlay with a dressy sweatshirt and brooch trio, I was inspired to dust off my own brooch that hasn't seen the light of day in years. Isn't it sweet? I love how it gives the whole outfit a retro feel.

Dress: Loft (options below)
Cardigan: Loft (similar)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar)
Earrings: Kate Spade (exact)
Brooch: Accents on Signal Mountain (upgrade, inexpensive alternative)
Watch: Target (exact in rose gold, similar)
Bracelet: Baublebar (cute alternative)
Ring: Pandora (exact)

I bought this brooch over 10 years ago when I worked at a little gift shop in Signal Mountain, Tennessee. I loved that job - being surrounded by beautiful things, the particular smell of Tyler candles, an amazing boss who showed me the joys and struggles of owning your own business - she inspired me to want a gift shop of my own, and while it is still a particular dream of mine, it'll be something I do later on in life as a second career. My husband wants to retire to St. Augustine, Florida (I'm holding out for a return to my beloved Tennessee), so maybe one day you'll see me with my own little unique shop by the beach or mountains, who knows what the future will bring!

Five cute dress options all under $70 (from most expensive to least)

one  |  two  |  three  |  four  |  five

Forgive the squints and cluttered car-and-trashcan-filled background. I took these pictures in a pinch, but was so happy with outfit, I had to share!

 // Sharing on Mix and Match Fashion's What I Wore to Work. //

Monday, January 25, 2016


I saw the most perfect red sweater, black pencil skirt and riding boot outfit on the lovely Megan from Hayes Days and was immediately like, yes, yes, must copy! It's kind of funny, when she posted her outfit, she mentioned that she thought her look wasn't that interesting, but I thought it was incredibly cute. It made me think about some of my outfits I think are so blah that I hesitate to even post them, but then I get a ton of compliments, so maybe it's a case of we see ourselves differently than others see us? Maybe?

I like this outfit, but I still think Megan wore it better. It's her peek of red socks that really makes the outfit, and don't think I didn't look all over town as well as the Internet for the perfect tall red socks before admitting sock defeat and forging ahead with my shameless copying sans socks. One of my favorite things about fashion blogs...endless inspiration. Thanks Megan for being today's muse! :)

Sweater: J. Crew Factory (exact in limited sizes and other colors)
Skirt: Loft (exact)
BootsArturo Chiang (exact in limited sizes, lovely alternative)
Necklace: Kendra Scott (exact)
Watch: Fossil (exact)
Cuff bracelet: Baublebar (cute alternative) Pave link bracelet: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Earrings: J. Crew Factory (exact)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Thoughts and Whatnots 1.24.16

Garnet pants: one  |  two  |  three

Blog Love:
  • What Nicole Wore has a great post on how to pack light with a packing list and closet staples. I'm going to Nashville for a work conference next month and can't wait to use her tips! This post also has some great outfit flatlays. 
  • My kiddo is just now getting into the joy of coloring, as opposed to the joy of eating crayons, so I'm loving Anne in Residence's post on what to do with your crayon remnants...make colorblock crayons!
  • Speaking of great flatlays, no one does it better than Respect the Shoes - her recent neutral with sparkles lineup has me wanting to breakout the brooches. I used to wear them all the time in college, but kind of forgot about them. Lisa has definitely inspired me to dust them off and wear them again! 

On Teal and Polka Dots:

Favorite Sales:

  • What I'm watching: 27 Dresses. Love me some cheesey rom-com goodness.
  • What I'm crushing on: I'm so in love with this antique-style floral mirror from Pier1. It would look perfect over the antique dresser in my closet. It's not available in stores, and sadly $299 + $30 large package surcharge is beyond my budget, but this one from Home Depot is a pretty alternative under $200, World Market has a pretty scalloped wood option for $100 and Walmart has a cute plastic baroque version for only $20.
  • What I'm looking forward to: My parents coming in town today! Now that my dad is retired, they have decided to utilize their beach house and come to visit every five weeks. Looking forward to the extra family time. :) 
  • Coming up on the blog: Tomorrow I'm copying catting one of my favorite bloggers and her super cute riding boots, red sweater and pencil combo and linking up with Anne in Residence for Pin to Present on Thursday.

Friday, January 22, 2016

10 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me

I love getting a little extra insight on my favorite bloggers, and I've noticed that a "Things You Don't Know About Me" post has been making the rounds, so I thought it would be fun to do one of my own. So without further ado, here's a few facts about me that you might not know:

1. I've traveled to 17 counties including Australia, Botswana, Czech Republic, Ecuador, England, Fiji, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Mexico, the Netherlands, Scotland, South Africa, Switzerland and Wales. I've also been to Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands. I did most of my traveling in college, where I was fortunate to be able to do a semester in England and was in a choir that traveled the world. In fact, before winning the Voice, Jordan Smith was a senior at my alma-mater, Lee University, and in the same choir I was in so...I guess that's my six degrees of separation thing.

2. Though I was in a prestigious choir, I'm not a singer. I can keep a tune, and my voice will do for singing lullabies to my baby girl, but I don't have a powerful, well-ranged voice. I actually played the flute with the choir's house band and played in the university wind ensemble. I started playing flute in middle school band and ended up getting a scholarship to play in college. As much I love music, I didn't major or minor in it, because I was worried that it would ruin my love for it. Kind of like taking your hobby and turning it into your career. Usually it works out, but sometimes you lose your passion for the thing you loved most. I still play, though not professionally.

3. I originally wanted to be an interior architect, get my master's in historic preservation and work at the Biltmore. I was accepted into the architecture program at the University of Tennessee, but instead felt that God was calling me to go to Lee University, so I did. I ended up majoring in communication, because I couldn't figure out anything else that made sense to major in.

4. I kind of fell into my career path. After working in a bookstore for a few years after graduation, I got my first design job because I was the first candidate that knew how to launch InDesign and create a document. I had no plans to go into marketing/graphic design, I just wanted to do something with my degree. I took one design course in college, during which my professor told me design probably wasn't for me. Fast forward three years to a job interview at a tinny tiny newspaper where I remembered just enough to do a seriously basic ad and was hired. I'm almost completely self taught - my world is pretty much InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator - and not to brag, but I've won a few regional and state awards for my work. So take that college professor naysayer!

6. I have a special place in my heart for people with special needs. My brother has Down syndrome, and is seriously the coolest guy ever. It's been my experience that people with intellectual disabilities and other developmental delays are some of the sweetest people. I'm convinced my brother knows the secret for happiness that the rest of us spend our whole lives trying to figure out. My aunt also had Down syndrome, so we're an anomaly where it happened two generations in a row. It's not thought to be hereditary, but my family has been studied to see if there is a link. I had to go through a lot of extra testing when I was pregnant with my daughter as well.

7. I joke that I'm working my way through the South state-by-state. I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but my dad was transferred to Chattanooga, Tennessee, when I was in the seventh grade. After college I spent an ill-advised year in North Carolina before moving to Florida. I originally moved here to be closer to my mom and thought I'd be in Florida a year or two max. I never dreamed I'd end up finding a career I loved and meeting my husband here. This year marks 10 years living in Florida. Crazy. All that being said, Tennessee will ALWAYS be home.

8. I pretty much only read fiction. My philosophy is that life is serious enough as it is, why add to that with heavy-duty books? What I'm reading really affects me, so if it's something sad and serious I become sad and serious as well. So I stick to positive and light. My favorite author of all time in Mauve Binchey. If you're unfamiliar, she's an Irish author, and seriously one of the best storytellers I've come across. Close runners up are Janet Evanovich, Sarah Addision Allen, Cecelia Ahern and Jane Austin. I love to read and have piles of books scattered all over the house. Books > moves. Always.

9. I am super self-conscious about my double chin. It's the very first thing I notice in pictures, and I'm not above using a little Photoshop liquefy tool magic to make it less noticeable. I can't even say it's a being curvy thing, I've had one all my life through thick and thin. My dad and grandpa have one too. I'm basically a female clone of my dad, except for my dark eyes and shortness. My favorite feature? Probably my dimple and I like my smile. 

10. My maiden name is Dutch and I've spent most of my life explaining how to pronounce and spell it. I'd tell you what it is, but it's unusual enough that you'd be able to find me in about 10 seconds, and while I know most folks would do nothing with that knowledge, it's probably better to stay a bit anonymous. :) When I went to Holland, I found a few (very) distant relatives with the same last name in the phone book, and while I didn't look them up, it was so cool be in a place were everyone knew how to say my name. I swear, I even look Dutch, when in reality I'm more of a Heinz 57. It's like I'd found my people. In fact, when I went to Europe people were more weirded out by my first name (because Erin means Ireland), so I guess it would be the equivalent of having America for a first name?

Jacket: J. Crew Factory (J. Crew version)
Sweater: J. Crew Factory (similar)
Shirt: Loft (cute alternative)
Jeans: Banana Republic Factory (exact)
Shoes: Madewell (similar leopard version)
Necklace: Kendra Scott (exact)
Watch: Fossil (exact)
Bracelet: Moorea Seal (similar)
Earrings: Loft (similar)

// Today I'm linking up with A Pocket Full of Polka Dots for Fabulous Friday. //

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Third Thursday Threads: Most Cherished Item

I'm one of those people who get weirdly attached to clothes. Not every item, but the ones that represent a memory - the dress I wore to graduation, my favorite polka dot top from my honeymoon, the white wool slacks and blush pearl embellished top I wore for my bachelorette dinner, the parade of bridesmaids dresses - things I'll never wear again because they don't fit, are no longer in style, or let's face it, who really re-wears a bridesmaid dress? I recently started a closet clean out, and like ripping off a band-aid, I ruthlessly weeding out everything that didn't fit or I no longer wore. A lot of it was the sentimental stuff, and I had to remind myself that the memories don't die because I no longer have the item, they just aren't taking up much needed closet space. That being said, when I dropped the bags off to Goodwill I got all weirdly sad about it, almost like I was giving away a piece of myself and not just a few (okay maybe more like 10) bags of clothes.

Anyway, all that backstory ties into Work Clothes, I Suppose's Third Thursday Threads theme "Most Cherished Item." The idea is to share a piece you saved for, dreamt of forever, or are still saving for. I initially struggled to come up with the right piece - was it my Hunter boots, one of my Kendra Scott necklaces or my well-loved and well-worn Coach bag? Was it an item that had a memory attached to it, like my wedding dress?

In the end, I finally settled on my Clare V. clutch, mainly because it's a classic item that I'll have for years to come (that won't end up in a Goodwill bag) and it's the first item I bought after a solid year of nothing but diaper bags and saggy clothes covered in spit up. I decided to treat myself to a completely frivolous, but fabulous, item that would hopefully inspire me to take better care of myself and to take pride in my appearance again. I snagged this clutch during a Shopbop sale, but even then it was a heck of a lot of money. Is it practical? Goodness no. After all, I can barely fit a compact, chapstick, and slim wallet in there much less toddler snacks, diapers and sippy cup. But you know what, in a crunch, I can slip this clutch right into the diaper bag, and boom, I'm ready to be in full mommy-mode.

Leopard love: 
one  |  two  |  three  |  four
five  |  six  |  seven  |  eight 

As you can see. I've carried this clutch a bunch of times - it's my favorite go-to item to dress up an outfit whether it's a jersey dress or a pair of black pants. It's nice to have a completely impractical, but just for me item. I consider it a well worth it purchase. :)

Sweater: J. Crew (similar)
Skirt: Target (similar)
Shoes: Madewell (d'Orsay option in limited sizes, gorgeous option with a lace quarter
Most Cherished Item: Clare V. (exact, the perfect dupe)
Necklace: J. Crew Factory (almost identical dupe)
Earrings: Loft (similar)
Watch: Fossil (exact)
Ring: Charming Charlie (pretty alternative)

// Today I'm linking up with Work Clothes, I Suppose for Third Thursday Threads.  //

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Rose Quartz and Serenity

I have to thank the Instagram style challenge #wearwhatwherejanurary for today's outfit (read more about this month's style challenge here).  I found the one item of clothing in my closet that was sort rose colored for the prompt Rose Quartz & Serenity and went from there. While this isn't something I would normally just throw together, I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Just goes to show, sometimes it's good to step out of your comfort zone. Not that wearing sweaters, scarves and puffers is out of my comfort zone, 'cause ya'll know I've been wearing them non-stop, more the color combination of rose, garnet and navy.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but I didn't realize until AFTER the prompt that rose quartz and serenity are the 2016 Pantone colors of the year. I'm a  designer and I completely missed that one. *mentally slaps hand on forehead* But I guess inadvertently nailed this style challenge because it's a warm rose tone paired with a cooler blue...blush and navy are pretty darn close!

Sweater: Loft (see options below)
Puffer vest: J. Crew Factory (similar)
Cords: Loft (similar on sale!)
Booties: Vince Camuto (exact)
Scarf: Charming Charlie (see options below)
Necklace: J. Crew Factory (fun alternative)
Watch: Fossil (exact)
Earrings: J. Crew Factory (exact)
Rings: Chloe and Isabel (exact)

blush sweater optionsSweater options $35-$70 (with sales):
   one  |  two (only $35!) |  three  |  four

Scarf options:
one  |  two  |  three  |  four (my favorite!)

// Today I'm linking up with the Pleated Poppy for What I Wore. //