Tuesday, February 28, 2017

february budget

February budget: $186.55
first quarter budget: $600 - $234.09 in January - $186.55 in February + $43.95 in clothing sales from ThredUp = $223.31 remaining

Last month I felt like I bought all the items, so I'm pleased I only added five items to my closet (as opposed to last month's eight). I think my favorite purchase this month were these gorgeous suede teal flats from J. Crew. I got them in my usual size 9, but I added a back of heel cushion since they initially wanted to slip a little bit. They haven't made it to the blog yet, but you can see them on Instagram here. Thanks to eBay, I got an amazing deal of a mislabeled pair of J. Crew navy pixie pants. The tag says they're sixes, but they're really a 16 and either way it meant big savings for me! (see them here).

I love my J. Crew Factory white with navy polka dot dress so much, I had to have this year's navy and white polka dot version. I actually ordered it in a size 20 (for extra length) and may end up taking in the sides, but as you can see in photos, it doesn't look too loose, though there's plenty of extra fabric.

Two more tops made it into my closet, this gray lace embroidered top that will be perfect in the upcoming summer months - plus I love the elbow length sleeves - and a blush split neck tunic for work (see it here). 

After holding on to my thredUP bag from months, I finally sent it back in and got a few dollars for my clean out efforts. Though I didn't make a lot of money, I didn't want to mess with listing items on eBay or Poshmark. Plus it helped counter January's spending spree. :)

Looking forward to next month, I have this gorgeous white with cream fringe dot midi skirt on order as well as this mauve long cardigan (as a hopeful replacement to my well-worn blush cardigan). I'm also drooling over this navy crochet trim kimono, so it very well might make it's way home to me as well...

//  Sharing on Franish for Budgeting Bloggers.  //

Monday, February 27, 2017

monday musings: weeks 7 & 8

You guys, I apologize for not being consistent on Monday Musings. The husband and I have been cramming our weekends full of house preparations, and since I like to try to do my posts the day beforehand, I haven't had time to prep my Monday posts. Bad blogger Erin. Anyway, that just means another catch up week with two questions. :) For those of you who are new to this space, Monday Musings it's a "get to know you" style Q&A. I invite you to join in since I love learning about you as well!

Q1: Where are you from and do you still live in your home state?

A1: I joke that I'm working my way through the south state by state. I was born in Louisville, KY but my dad was transfered to Chattanooga, TN when I was in the seventh grade. While Kentucky is my birth state, Tennessee will always be home. Probably because it's where I spent most of my formative years and my family still lives there. I moved Cleveland, TN for college then spent a year in Wilson, NC and Greensboro, NC after graduation. I moved to Florida 10 years ago for a variety of reasons - but mostly live closer to my mom who I didn't grow up with - ended up meeting my husband here and the rest is history. I consider myself a displaced Tennessee girl living in Florida. :)

mascara for days:  one  |  two  |  three

Q2: What's your one can't live without it makeup product?

A1: That's easy, mascara! I have naturally light eyelashes and look, well, kind of dead without a few (okay at least 10) swipes of mascara. I use Subversion Lash Primer on my top and bottom lashes, followed by IT Cosmetic's Superhero Mascara (Too Faced Better than Sex is another favorite) on the top lashes and Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara on the bottom lashes.

It's your turn! Where are you from (and are you still living there) and what's your go-to makeup product?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

thoughts and whatnots: 2.26.17

aqua bags and updos:  one  |  two  |  three

blog love:

on teal and polka dot

favorite sales:

  • what I'm watching: We just discovered The American's on Amazon and I'm hooked. Any other good Amazon Prime/Netfilx binge suggestions? 
  • what I'm listening to: Thanks to Anne's suggestion, I just discovered The Avett Brothers and have been listening to them on repeat. The best part? I just found out they're playing near me in March!
  • what I'm crushing on: All the Stella & Dot new arrivals, especially this illusion of stackable bands gold pave ring, this gorgeous cognac leather saddle bag and this seriously want leopard calf hair watch. Looking for a rep? I recommend Briana from Work Clothes, I Suppose. :)
  • what I'm looking forward to: Being done with preparing the house to sell! We signed all the paperwork to list it Thursday and had pictures done this morning. Listing goes live on Tuesday/Wednesday. Here's hoping it sells quickly so we can get our bid in on our dream house...

Friday, February 24, 2017


when: Wednesday  |  where: work  |  weather: 74 and morning rain

First of all, I want to thank each and everyone of you who left such sweet and inspiring comments on Wednesday's post. You ladies are seriously awesome. All that flattery is going to go to my head- kidding- but it's so nice to know that what I'm putting out there is wanted. I started this blog for myself, but it's really the community of women that have kept me going with it. So seriously, sincerely thank you

Now, on to the outfit at hand. Two days of rain in a row meant another opportunity to wear my Hunter rain boots - plus pants that feel like comfy leggings and a cozy cardigan were perfect for the rainy weather. If I could have stayed home all day curled up with a book, I would have, but instead I settled for work and a lunch date with my husband to indulge in delicious Chinese food. Egg drop soup is my jam people. Yum. Something about rain and soup just makes sense together. So all in all a good day, and a good outfit. That's a win in my book. :)

cardigan: Loft (exactfun alternative)  |  shirt: Loft (exact - on sale!)  |  pants: J. Crew (exact)  |  boots: Hunter (exact)  |  bag: Kate Spade (very similar)  |  earrings: J. Crew Factory (exact)  |  necklace: Kendra Scott (exact)  |  bracelet: J. Crew (similar)  |  watch: Fossil (similar)

//  Sharing on Fabulous Friday.  //

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


when: yesterday  |  where: work  |  weather: 70 and rainy

This post has been on my heart for a while now. You see, I've been a hypocrite. The whole point of this space has been to celebrate your shape, but I've been doing one heck of a poor job of it lately. When I lost weight last year it was so easy to be happy with my looks, happy with how I was presenting myself and happy telling others to be happy with themselves. (Whew, that's a lot of happy!) But, as I'm sure you've noticed in recent photos, I've gained the weight back. Lately it's been so hard to look at myself and like what I see. I find myself criticizing my reflection, hating the way I look in photos. In fact, I almost didn't post today's set because I didn't like what I saw, and was embarrassed to show you all what I look like now. But then I had a light bulb moment - wasn't that the whole reason I originally started blogging? To learn how to dress and be confident in myself, no matter what size? So, okay, I look different than I did last year, and I can't say I'm pleased with the weight gain, but it's time to remember/relearn to be happy in my own skin.

I could throw the blame around all day long as to why I've gained weight - months of stress at work, trying to sell our house, poor eating habits, just struggling with work/life balance and forgetting the importance or self care. But at the end of the day, it doesn't change any thing.

I've decided to say screw it, I'm going to do my best to look good anyway. I refuse to wallow in my self-imposed misery any longer. This is the current, curvier me. :)

dress: J. Crew Factory (exact)  |  cardigan: J. Crew Factory (exact)  |  boots: hunter (exact)  |  necklace: Kendra Scott (exact)  |  earrings: Stella and Dot (similar)  |  watch: Fossil (similar)  |  bracelet: Bourbon and Boweties (exact)

So to everyone who takes the time to visit, comment and read this space, I feel like I owe you a great big apology. I promise to be more authentic, posting pictures of the current me in all my curvy glory. I promise to be kinder to myself as I work toward a healthier lifestyle and go back to the roots of this blog: love the body you have through thick and thin. :)

//  Sharing on What I Wore. //

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

bit o' green

when: early November?!?  |  where: work  |  weather: 78 and partly cloudy

Now that Valentine's Day is over, it seems like everything is throwing up Easter. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Easter, but I can't say I'm ready to think about it in February. During my lunch break I walked into Target and saw all the pastel goodness and thought - what happened to St. Patrick's Day? Granted it's forever away as well - at least a month, right? - but it it's like it's been glossed over for the bigger holiday money-maker. I can't decide if I'm just more aware of it, but it seems like retailers are pushing the big holidays earlier and earlier each year. Like Hobby Lobby putting out all their Christmas in July. So, Easter in February, why not I guess?

Oh, well. Today I'm showing my green J. Crew Factory skirt, not in honor of St. Patrick's Day since these photos are actually from early November (originally used as part of a Mom Style Remix post). But between working full-time, all the running around trying to prepare the house to sell, the kiddo's rounds of the winter crud, and a bad case of the outfit blahs, I haven't really had the time or inclination to take outfit photos lately. But I've promised myself the camera is coming out tomorrow, so I'll do my best to whip up a decent, blog-worthy outfit!

cardigan: J. Crew Factory (exact in other colors)  |  shirt: GAP (similar)  |  skirt: J. Crew Factory (exact)  |  shoes: J. Crew Factory (exact)  |  bag: Stella & Dot (neutral chevron version)  |  necklace: J. Crew Factory (exact)  |  watch: Fossil (exact face with a leather band)  |  bracelets: Bourbon and Boweties (exact pearl) and Loft (similar cuff)  |  earrings: J. Crew Factory (exact)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

valentine's hues

Since I've been woefully bad about taking outfit photos lately, I thought I'd look back at some of my favorite pink, red and purple-hued looks for today's Valentine's inspired outfit post.

pretty in pink:  one  |  two  |  three
four  |  five  | six

red hot:  one  |  two  |  three

pleasingly purple:  one  |  two  |  three

Happy Valentine's Day friends! I ♥ you all!

Monday, February 13, 2017

monday musings: week 5 & 6

With all the busyness of going to Nashville and preparing our house to sell, I completely forgot about last week's Monday Musings, so I'm going to do a bit of catch up with two questions for this week. :) For those of you how are new to this space, Monday Musing is a "get to know" style Q&A. I invite you to join, in since half the fun is learning more about you as well!

Q1: Are you a coffee drinker and how do you take your coffee?

A: I used to not be much of a coffee drinker, but after having a kiddo, it's turned into the sweet life-giving nectar of the gods. I take mine with two sugars and cream and in the summer I prefer it iced. YUM.

Q2: Do you celebrate Valentine's Day and what's one of your favorite V-day traditions?

A: I can't say I'm really all that big into Valentine's Day. I'm usually either out of town, or working, but my husband and I usually exchange cards and a small gift. My husband is a huge fan of dark chocolate gelato, so this year I plan on picking up a pint as well this cute ice cream set for two. A little girly, but so cute! I don't know if it's really a tradition, but I've so enjoyed making Aubrey's Valentine's for the past two years. Last year like a crazy person I handmade all of them. This year, I used store bought for the kids and personalized the teachers gifts with this teal mailboxes from Target's dollar spot.

It's your turn! What's your perfect cup of coffee and one of your favorite Valentine's traditions? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, February 6, 2017

winter conference packing list

Out of town work trips can present a bit of a challenge since a mix of business wear (for conferences) and casual outfits (for the long car ride and after-hour functions) is required. While my Nashville work conference ins only four days, the fluctuating weather and variety of aforementioned outfit requirements means I needed to pack a simply as possible to be able to fit everything into a small rolling suitcase

stripe belted cardigan (exact)  |  tan boyfriend cardigan (exact)  |  tipped blazer (almost identical)  |  skinny jeans (exact)  |  navy dress pants (exact)  |  crossover bag (exact)  |  lace top (exact)  |  stripe top (exact)  |  green pullover (exact)  |  stripe dress (exact)  |  dotted scarf (similar)  |  tassel necklace: (exact)  |  blue ruffle popover (exact)  |  bow flats (exact)  |  teal flats (similar)
Just like last year's list, I have 10 items (not including accessories) to mix and match. Below are seven outfit combinations, but I could easily see adding a few more - like the lace top with the tan cardigan and jeans or the green sweater over blue ruffle popover paired with dress pants - as alternative looks. Or -inspired by this look from J. Crew Factory - the blue ruffled popover under the stripe dress. Because, I know myself, and sometimes I like to mix things up from what I've originally planned. :)

Since it's supposed to rain pretty much the whole time we're there, I added my favorite polka dot umbrella to stay dry and my new funnel coat to stay toasty warm at night.

Shop the post:

Sunday, February 5, 2017

thoughts and whatnots 2.5.17

all about those stripes:  one  |  two  |  three

blog love:

on teal and polka dots:
  • on the blog: I was so honored to co-host February Currently
  • on instagram: Warm temps have got me feeling all springy
  • coming up on the blog: Tomorrow I'm sharing my winter conference packing list. Can't wait? Check out last year's list here.

favorite sales:

  • what I'm doing: Packing. cleaning. painting. repeat. It's been a challenge trying to get the house ready to sale, but I know it'll be so worth it to spruce the old gal up before putting her on the market. Got to have her showing at her very best. :)
  • what I'm reading: I've been too busy to read much of anything at the moment, unless blogs count...
  • what I'm watching: My kiddo has discovered Sarah and Duck on Netflix, so I've been kinda of listening to it in the background while trying to work on the house.
  • what I'm crushing on: Oh my goodness, while I was in Michigan I discovered the most gorgeous navy blue velvet chair at Marshalls, and if I wasn't flying and could have figure out some way to haul it back to Florida, I would have. But since I can't have that one, here a few other options I'm loving: this pricey - but swoon-worthy - accent chair, this modern arm chair that comes in a bunch of color options including navy, and this similar to my original crush tufted back armchair.
  • what I'm looking forward to: As you're reading this I'll be on my way for Nashville, whoot whoot! Sadly, I won't get to experience too much of the city since I'll be there for a work conference, but any excuse that gets me back to my home state makes me a happy girl.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


packing: for an upcoming work conference to Nashville. It's looking temps are going to be all over the map with highs in 50s/60s (and 70 on Tuesday!) with lows in the 40s + lots of rain, so I'm thinking layers? Packing post going up in the near future...

jonesing: for a little bit more snow! I saw the white, fluffy stuff for the first time in 10+ years last week, and it was beautiful. I spent the morning just staring out the windows as it came down. Most of the time I love living in Florida, but I do miss seasons...

texting: with my husband about our mutual inability to remember to tell daycare our kiddo was sick and wouldn't be in. She usually goes to daycare at 7:45 a.m., I forgot let them know until almost 11. Whoops. #mommybrain

readingI forgot to grab a book for last week's last minute trip trip to Michigan, so I snagged "Hidden Figures" by Margot Lee Shetterly to pass the time during airport layovers. I haven't gotten too far into it, but I've really enjoyed the first 100 pages.

hearting: My sweet family. Definitely my two favorite Valentines!

I'm so excited to co-host Currently this month with Anne of Anne in Residence. Can't wait to read what you are currently up to!