Thursday, April 28, 2016

April Budget

April Budget: $359.26
Second quarter budget: $600 - $359.26 + $100 in side work = $340.74 remaining

I'd find my April budget total shocking, but I knew I was going to be spendy this month. I mentioned a few weeks back that the majority of my summer clothes no longer fit. Originally I planned to space my purchases out a bit more, but since it's already warm in Florida, I just went for it. Though I did luck out by scoring some amazing deals, so the damage could have been a lot worse! Pretty clothes at a good price always makes me happy.

Sperry canvas sneakers (see how I wore them here)
Confession: I bought these shoes for a style challenge. But, I ended up loving them. I really like that they are tennis shoes without looking athletic and are super comfortable with a great cushy insole. They run true to size, and I got them in my typical size 9.

Loft kimono cardigan (see how I wore it here)
Soft, chunky and a bit different silhouette, this cardigan was a fun purchase at a ridiculously cheap price. Things to note: it's cotton but heavier than you'd expect and runs really large. Mine is a medium and since it's stretched out a bit - probably because I've been wearing it non-stop - I almost could have gone with a small.

J. Crew polka dot midi skirt (see how I wore it here)
Polka dots, elastic waistband and pockets - what's not to love? This skirt is lightweight, comfortable and perfect for summer work days. After reading reviews, I sized down one size and got it in a 14.

J. Crew micro pleated midi skirt (see how I wore it here)
This skirt is one of my favorite purchases this month. It's gorgeous in real-life, a lovely shade of pinkish orchid and is a nice, heavy-weight that keeps the pleats from flaring out too much (an issue for us curvy-hipped ladies). I got this in a size 16 and find it runs true to size.

J. Crew Factory pleated midi skirt (see how I wore it here)
I know, I know, yet another midi skirt this month. What can I say, I'm addicted. :) Especially when it comes in a pretty teal color and a good price. There's definitely a bit of a quality difference in the factory version vs. the J. Crew pleated midi, but still a nice skirt. Also a size 16.

J. Crew Factory octopus tee (see how I wore it here)
I played around with this shirt while making last month's summer outfit "survival guide" and ended up liking it so much at I thew it in with my midi skirt order. Besides, a girl living on the Florida coast needs a nautical octopus tee, right? Never mind the fact that I've never actually seen one in the wild while living here...Anyway, I got it in an XL and think it runs a little large. It's super soft in real-life and the gold stripes are a nice, bright metallic.

J. Crew Factory cardigan (see how I wore it here)
Another summer outfit "survival guide" item that I decided that I needed in my closet. I like the Clare cardigans because they are soft, light-weight and the 3/4 sleeves are a nice option for the over air-conditioned summer months. It's an XL and just a touch small in the chest, but just right in the sleeves.

J. Crew Factory demi-wedge sandal (see how I wore them here)
I really like how these sandals give the look and feel of heels without the discomfort of wearing an actual heel. Pros: there was no break-in period, they're comfortable to stand and walk around in all day, and the knot at the top is super cute. Cons: they run a little long and narrow. For reference, these are size 9.

J. Crew Factory chambray blazer (see how I wore it here)
I've mentioned before I hate buying replacement pieces, so when my Loft chambray blazer from last year became too big, I decided to try the J. Crew Factory version instead. It sits right below the hip, and fits well in the arms and waist. It does have a bit of padding in the shoulders and I wish it was just a touch more tailored, but that's something I could get fixed if I decide it bothers me enough. I got this jacket in a size 16.

AEO Denim X crops (see how I wore them here)
I like the idea of colored denim, but wasn't comfortable with going with a bight hue, so a soft pink seemed like a nice option. For me they ran small in the leg, so I sized up to an 18. The waist is now a bit big, but easily solved with a belt. If you have skinny legs, I'd stick to your normal size.

Tax Return Goodies (not included in budget):

Come tax refund time, I like to buy a few (or one really expensive) item I normally wouldn't purchase for myself. Last year, I got my Clare V. leopard print clutch and this year, thanks for some really get sales was able to pick up several goodies. I started out wanting to try the Kendra Scott Color Bar, so I picked out the crystal clear stones for the daisy station ring and tessa studs. I signed up for emails from and got 15% off my purchase, and since I had the discount going for me, also picked up the devlayn necklace that's been on my wish list for forever.

I fell in love with these polka dot d'orsay flats after seeing a very similar pair on McKenna Bleu. Not willing to spend $90 + shipping on them, I ended up finding an almost identical pair from Lord and Taylor for $10 cheaper plus an additional 25% off. Word of warning though, there's a bit of a break-in period with these shoes. The first day I got blisters on both of my big-toes and both heels. Armed with a ton of band aids, I wore them again yesterday and I can tell the leather's softening up a bit, but I'll probably have to wear them a few more times before they're truly comfortable.

I've been on the lookout for a new leather bag for awhile, but wasn't ready to commit to anything. Last weekend I found this Cedar Hayden in grace blue on clearance at Kate Spade with an additional 25% off. This bag is normally out of my price range - even as a refund splurge - but on clearance with an additional sale was right at my comfort-spending level. Let me tell you, it's even better in real-life than online. I love everything about it - the gorgeous color, the structure - even the removable, adjustable strap perfect to wear as a crossbody or on the shoulder. If the pink pleated midi skirt was a my favorite purchase from my monthly budget, this bag is by far my favorite tax refund splurge. Worth every discounted penny.

//  Sharing with Franish and the budgeting bloggers.  //


  1. I've been eyeing that polka dot J.Crew skirt for a while, and I just think it's going to be too long on me, unfortunately. It fits you so, so well though, so I might have to give it a try anyway. I, too, am a midi skirt addict!

    Love that Kate Spade bag!

    xo nicole

    1. Hmmm...maybe you could get it hemmed? Though I'm the worst about saying I'm going to fix something and then it just sits in my closet for forever. :)

  2. This was the first year in so long that I didn't get a Tax Return Splurge! We went to Europe instead (obviously no complaints), so I didn't feel like I could splurge on something for my wardrobe. I'm totally jealous of that Kate Spade bag! ;-)

    Regarding the blister-inducing shoes, have you tried the Band-Aid friction block? I used it in Europe and it did a pretty good job:

    1. oooo....Europe, so jealous! That's definitely way better than a handbag. :) I haven't tried the Band-Aid friction block, thanks for the suggestion!

  3. You are rocking the midi skirts! I love the colors of everything you got!


    1. Thanks Becky! I've been super in to pink lately, which isn't a color I usually go for, but it's been a fun addition to my closet!

  4. There's nothing wrong with midi skirt love! I also got the polka dot one in a 14 and find it fits great! I hope they continue to bring that style back.

    1. Yay! I can't wait to see how you style it. I saw Sarah's Real Life picked it up too...I love when several people get the same piece. Always fun to see other how people wear it. :)

  5. I'm also a Clare cardigan convert. I bought my first one in navy last month and have been wearing it nonstop now that the weather is warming up. I wouldn't mind adding a pink one too!

    Also, I love Kendra Scott jewelry and didn't know about the color bar, so thanks for the heads up!

    1. I definitely have a navy one on my wishlist since my Loft one recently bit the dust. :( I'm wearing my pink one again today, it really is the perfect weight for the office!

  6. So many great pieces! I love those J.Crew skirts, especially the polka dot one!

    Doused In Pink

    1. Thanks! The polka dot is probably my favorite - it's so easy to wear and comfy!