Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February Budget

This was kind of a weirdly big shopping month for me - I didn't necessarily feel like I really needed anything (besides more pants and black wedges), but I have picked up a bunch of stuff that made me fall back in love with my closet. I usually like to buy a bunch of new stuff once the weather turns towards spring, but I'm so sick of winter that I decided to pump myself up with a few springy things prematurely.  

1 // Bella Marie wedges via ThredUp - 14.99 (similar)
2 // J Crew top - 17.99 (seen here)
3 // Michael Kors skirt via TJ Maxx - 15.00 (similar) (seen here and here
4 // Adrianna Papell dress via ThredUp - 19.87 (similar)
5 // J Crew top - 29.99 (seen here)
6 // LOFT boyfriend jeans via ThredUp - 17.49 (similar)
7 // Target pants - 27.99 (super comfortable, but they run about 2 sizes small)
8 // British Khaki vest via TJ Maxx (a direct knock off of the J Crew pictured) - 29.99 (seen here)
9 // J Crew top - 17.99 (seen here)

Total - 191.30

The total is definitely more than I typically spend, but it's also a lot of new stuff and filled a good number of closet holes (I basically haven't taken the vest off since I got it).  Now I just need the weather to cooperate so I can stop wearing 42 layers every day.

Linking up with Fran and the other Budgeting Bloggers here

Monday, February 23, 2015

My ThredUp Experience

I discovered ThredUp, an online consignment shop, through Grace's blog a few months ago. I've placed a two orders through them, as well as started the process of selling a bunch of stuff.  Overall, I love the prices and the ease of their website, have mixed feelings about their shipping and am a little afraid of the selling process.


The best thing about ThredUp is definitely the prices - designer jeans for 25 dollars, Ann Taylor blouses for 12 etc.  It's basically a thrift store, just online, so it's always hit or miss if you're looking for something specific, but the inventory is enormous.  I was in search of boyfriend jeans and black wedges, both of which I found after a few weeks. I downloaded the app, and found that was the easiest way to manage what I wanted vs what they had.  There are tons of filters you can use to narrow things down, and you can save the searches and set up alerts (that's how I found my wedges).  I've found the sizing/detail shots to be hit or miss (I ordered a black sweater and discovered once it arrived that it was about 14 inches long and barely covered my boobs), but as long as you stick with brands or items you know, there are fabulous bargains to be found.  The jeans I wear 99% of the time are Old Navy Rockstars, and I've found them on ThredUp for 7 dollars, new with tags.

Unfortunately, both of my orders have had shipping issues.  They claim on the website that most orders ship within 1-2 business days, but neither of my orders shipped before the 4th business day.  With the first, they discounted both items, but never mentioned that it would be late.  For the second order, I got an email after 3 days stating that they were behind on orders and mine would ship soon, and I got a 20% off coupon for my trouble.  I feel like, in the world of online retailers, even a 2 day turnaround is pretty good, and the fact that they cut me a break both times was pretty impressive. I'll happily order from them again.


This is where things get rocky, though I still haven't completed the process, so it's not a cautionary tale yet. ThredUp has a really easy selling program - you order a clean out bag, stuff it with approved items (they are VERY clear about what they do and do not take) and wait for them to process it.  I'm currently in the wait-it-out period, which is driving me a bit mad (I shipped my bag over a week ago) [update - it took 13 business days, but they did receive my bag and will process it by March 22]. Once they process my bag, I can opt for ThredUp credit, a PayPal cash out or a charitable donation.  Everything that doesn't get accepted is donated, unless you pay to have it all shipped back to you.  Unfortunately, I made the mistake of reading a ton of online reviews, which suggest that the payout does not usually match what was sent in.  I'm anxious to see how my process goes, and will report back.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Project 365 // February 16 - 22

February 16

February 17

February 18

February 19

February 20
February 21

February 22

Friday, February 20, 2015

Week in Review

I am genuinely confused by where February has gone.  And also who the hell decided that humans don't hibernate, cause it is super effing cold out.  This week was pretty hectic, but a big work project just finished up, so I spent most of yesterday twiddling my thumbs in a nice way.  We're supposed to hit a high of 40 degrees this weekend, I'm really looking forward to spending time outside with fewer than 17 layers.

Proof I Wore Pants

Links I Love

This video is hilarious and sweet and a pretty great idea

I studied anthropology in college, and am tea addicted, so I love this cultural comparison of one of my favorite drinks

My new favorite app - it combines swearing and good information

I rarely go a week without buying something off Amazon, but this article taught me some new tricks

The Academy Awards are second only to the Super Bowl on my list of favorite Sunday night programs, and this game will make it even more fun

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

101 in 1001 and My Book List

As some of you may have noticed, I added a new page up top (this one!)  Inspired by Mackenzie, I put together a list of 101 things to do in the next 1001 days (it's A LOT of days!).  The list is a big mix - some home stuff, some travel stuff, some financial goals, some personal goals.  I'm publishing it in the hopes of holding myself accountable for the next ~994 days. So far, I've knocked one thing off, and I'm halfway through completing another one.

Another goal I had set for myself this year was to read 50 books in 2015.  So far, I've read 4, which puts me pretty much right on schedule, and I just downloaded Station 11.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

All the Light We Cannot See - Um, amazing.  Definitely worth an immediate read if you haven't

Eat Pretty - Surprise, you should eat vegetables.  I actually liked that it was laid out by season, and I've used some of the ideas and recipes.

Belzhar - I liked it, but I might be outgrowing YA lit a little bit - the central drama was verrryyyyyy 15 year old girl, and I get enough of that in my own life

Harry Potter - Don't judge

Monday, February 16, 2015

Budgeting // 6 Weeks In

As a relatively recent grown up, trying to figure out how to both go to Target and save money, I've gone through a few iterations of budgeting.  As a part of my 2015 goal setting, I have set myself a pretty high savings goal, and, in my quest to be over-organized, set up a spreadsheet.

Not real numbers, FYI

I have columns for income, fixed expenses, clothing and other spending. Literally anything I spend money on that isn't bills goes into that category.  It never made sense for me to create tons of categories, considering how my expenses change month to month (groceries when I'm home vs traveling, dog food every 2 months, makeup every 6 months etc), so having the flexibility of an everything category works great for me.

The next columns are for saving.  I divided my savings goal by the number of paychecks I'll get, and then I created a column that deducts that amount left over from my spending.  That money automatically gets moved into a savings account, and I can't touch it.  The next column is for personal savings.  If there's any money left over after bills, spending and saving, that goes towards whatever I want.  I keep a running list of things that I'm lusting after, prioritize it, and then, once I have that money in my personal savings, I can buy it.  This has been BY FAR, the hardest thing for me.  Delayed gratification is a weakness of mine, so forcing myself to wait has been tough.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Project 365 // February 9 - 15

February 9

February 10

February 11

February 12

February 13

February 14

February 15

Friday, February 13, 2015

Week in Review

It's currently 3 degrees outside.  Why is that even a thing.  I'm currently trying to schedule play dates for my dog, so that she gets exercise while I stay inside (win, win). This week was nuts with work, but I'm really enjoying it.  Busy girl = happy girl.  

Proof I Wore Pants

Links I Loved

I tried this tip last night and feel asleep in about 15 seconds

I needed this a few times this week, and as silly as it seems, it really did help

As a super introvert, I found this article helpful, though I haven't tried any of it out yet

Though I 100% do not need any more purses, I visit this bag once or day or so

A student read this poem in a meeting this week, and I thought it was magnificent

This lady is super brave, and her kid clearly has amazing style

I did this workout a few days ago, and felt a serious burn even 36 hours later

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

DIY Punny Valentine's

Last year, in a fit of thesis-induced crafting, I made punny Valentine's for all of my nearest and dearest.  The reactions ranged from cooing (my friends) to mild horror (my father).  This year, snow day induced boredom means we're going round 2.  I ended up making 9 different Valentine's, but as to not make this enormously boring, here are a couple (all inspiration is from this Buzzfeed article).  I was going to do a DIY, but all of the steps are to cut weird shapes out, and I think yall can figure that out on your own.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Skincare Routine

As a lover of routine and buying gratuitously expensive things, skincare is one of my favorite things. I had acne from about age 10 until last April, when I finished up Accutane.  Now, my skin is normal, leaning towards dry, especially during the winter, and while I don't have much by the way of blemishes, but I do struggle with some uneven texture and pigmentation.  Right now, this plan (in addition to my makeup routine), has really helped get everything under control and looking pretty good.


I usually don't wash my face prior to putting on makeup, unless it feels funky.  Generally, I just wash my hands, then spritz my face with the unapologetically princess-y Boscia Balancing Facial Tonic.  Once that dries, I apply two big drops of the Caudelie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum.  I wait 10 or so minutes, then apply the Olay moisturizer and eye cream, these days it's Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream.  Once everything is mostly set, I move onto makeup.


I take my face off with Body Shop Chamomile Cleansing Oil (I massage it into a dry face, then melt it with a washcloth soaked in hot water, which is frequently in the top 3 best moments of my day) and then cleanse using the Dove Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin.  On the days I shower, or when my skin feels particularly yucky, I use my Clarisonic, with the sensitive head on (which I get for 1/4 of the price on Amazon, because who wants to pay 20 bucks for a brush head?!).  Once my skin is clean, I apply the Caudalie serum again.  After 15 minutes, I massage half a dropper of L'Oreal Regenerist Luminous Oil into my skin. One of the biggest things that works for my skin has been massage.  I look like an absolute idiot while I do it, but kneading my facial muscles really helps keep my skin look elastic. It may seem ridiculous, but I really do think my makeup goes on better and my skin is more radiant after I do it (this video is what I follow, though minus the weird tool thing).


I use facial masks whenever I get the urge, basically.  I have a bunch of cheap ones I rotate through.  For me, it's rare to see any big difference, but I do enjoy the ritual and think it's fun.

And that's it.  Nothing too complicated or fancy, but it works well and I find that my skin responds best to un-fussy routine.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Project 365 // February 2 - 8

February 2


February 3

February 4

February 5

February 6 (taken on manual!)

February 7

February 8

Friday, February 6, 2015

Week in Review

This week started (last week ended?) with a very exciting Super Bowl, in which I effectively met my cardio goals for the week and cried.  It was the first time my dad and I have been able to watch together for five years, which made the win even a little more sweet.  The rest of the week was much quieter - a day spent snowed in with my parents, then four insane work days.  

Proof I Wore Pants

Links I Love

I don't always keep cookies in the house, but with the weather we're expecting this weekend, baked goods will likely be required - these sound awesome

This was my favorite post-Superbowl interview (maybe don't watch it at work...)

I adore the Stop and Shop Scan It situation (grocery shopping - human interaction = yay), and this app makes it even easier

This show is my new obsession - it's the sweetest, most polite and delightful 'reality' show ever

I'm still looking for the best photo solution, but this article outlines something that might streamline things

This news has driven me to stalk Caribbean vacations on Groupon

I made this recipe again last night, and it's better every time I make it         

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February Goals

As I mentioned briefly, I decided against making year-long resolutions for 2015.  Instead, I bought a little planner (literally an excuse to use more planners) and have been setting weekly/monthly goals. At the beginning of the year, I assigned each month an overall focus, then set up little goals around that.

February is home month, mostly because I am on duty (and therefore housebound) for two weekends. Among the goals are to paint my bathroom, potentially paint my bedroom (though it feels like a lot) and reorganize all my files and get them out of my old desk.

Bathroom before - sad green

I'm also trying to find more ways of being focused and productive when I'm at home.  There are lots of times when I get sucked into something (cough television couth) after work, and any hopes of being productive go out the window.  Mondays and Thursdays are going to be tv-less, and books are back in heavy rotation.  I've also started following the 2 minute rule for house stuff - if something is going to take 2 minutes or less, do it now.  Otherwise, designate a time to do it later. I feel much more relaxed and focused when I'm also productive, so it's my hope that this will all help me feel like I have my shit together a little more.  Les do it, February!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Project 365 // January 26 - February 1

January 26

January 27

January 28

January 29

January 30

January 31

February 1