Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April Budget

Looking at my purchases, this month seems super long... The LOFT skirt has made it into my favorites, and I kind of forgot I've only had it for a month.  Everything I picked up this month has been a big hit, and lots of it made the Ireland packing list, so big wins all around me!

1 // LOFT skirt - $22
2 // Everlane tee - $15
3 // Jack Rogers - $80 (on super sale from Amazon)
4 // J Crew Factory - $25
5 // Old Navy - $22
6 // Everlane tee - $15
7 // LOFT earrings - $8
8 // Target pants - $20
Total // $185

I think my favorite purchase of the month is the J Crew dress, but I really do love everything.  For next month, I'm trying to hunt down a chambray popover and possibly a pair of flat espadrilles.

Linking up with Fran and the other budgeting bloggers, as always

Monday, April 27, 2015

What I Packed for 10 Days in Ireland

We're headed to the Emerald Isle! My parents and I are starting our trip in Dublin, where my brother is studying abroad, then we're all going over to Dingle before flying to Cornwall and London.  I'm so excited I do my wiggle dance every time I think about it, but the packing challenge was tough.  The weather will be around 60 degrees and most likely raining, which means packing Hunters and quite a few layers.  I also set myself the slightly inane goal of getting everything into 2 carryon bags (1 suitcase, 1 tote bag).  In true obsessive packer fashion, I've had a list going for about 3 months, and here's where I ended up -

5 shirts - blue sleeveless, green camp shirt, white tee, white long sleeve boatneck, striped top
1 cardigan - navy blue
1 vest, 1 field jacket

1 black pants
1 boyfriend jeans
1 camel skirt
1 red pants

1 stripe
1 black wrap dress

1 camisole
1 gym outfit
1 pair or pajamas
3 statement necklaces
5 pairs of socks
14 pairs of underwear
2 bras

I won't list all of my toiletries, because that seems a little excessive. I've pared it down to one regular sized toiletry bag in my suitcase and a TSA approved clear case in my carryon.  Also in my carryon - my camera stuff, computer, ipad, water bottle, snacks, chargers and a purse with my passport and wallet, headphones and phone.

And that's it!  According to my obsessively precise calculations, I'll be able to get a full trip's worth of unique outfits out of this bunch, and, with some shoving and hoping, everything fit into this bag (which I LOVE) with the help of these.  I'll be posting outfit posts/the breakdown once we're back, so I'll let you know how the list holds up!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Project 365 // April 20 - April 26

April 20
 April 21
 April 22
 April 23
 April 24
 April 25
 April 26

Friday, April 24, 2015

Week in Review

T-2 weeks until Ireland, and 5 days until I leave home for the slow journey across the pond.  A death in my boss's family means I'm traveling from home next Thursday and Friday before heading to my parents house and then down to Baltimore. The logistics of packing for all of these trips is making my head spin, but I love me a packing challenge.

Proof I Wore Pants

This Week in Pictures

On repeat today and always // SNOW in APRIL // So ponderous
Sephora haul // Tall trees, long legs // Super snoozer
Weird children // SLOTH TEE SHIRT // Gorgeous sky

Links I Love

This is the first ever funny rape joke, at least in my opinion

A 65% accurate joke about my generation

I've seen this article on a bunch of different blogs, and find the idea really inspiring

I've seen statistics about this scary situation, but I love the visual layout

And on a lighter note - some crazy beautiful sentences from favorite authors

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lo and Sons Pearl Review

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One of my resolutions post-closet clean out was to focus on buying quality, long lasting replacements for some of the things I got rid of.  After purging most of my purse collection, I decided to treat myself to a long-term lust object.  Lo&Sons is exactly the kind of company I love to support - family owned, fabulous philosophies and gorgeous, well-thought-out pieces.  Someday, I'll probably own of each, but for now, the Pearl is doing it for me.

lo and sons, lo and sons pearl, purse, crossbody review

Number one of my pro list is how much the Pearl holds for being a relatively small bag. It holds EVERYTHING.  I am anticipating this being a godsend on our upcoming Ireland trip.  The pockets are perfect for the stuff I actually carry (neosporin, snacks, 4 different lip products...) One of my biggest bag pet peeves is when pockets aren't right for my actual needs.  The fact that the two outside pockets fit my ipad mini perfectly makes me ridiculously happy.

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Number two is that it's reallllllll pretty. I like to pet it sometimes.  The bag comes in silver or gold hardware, all of which is crazy high quality. The strap is changeable - it can be worn crossbody, over the shoulder or as a clutch.  I doubt I'll ever carry it without one of the longer strap options, as it's just a little too big to be worn on my wrist, but the option's nice.

Number three is the customer service. Tallulah, in one of her more lovable moments, chewed through the strap.  I was horrified, and emailed the company to ask about purchasing a new strap.  Three hours after I initially inquired, one of their customer service reps had overnighted a new strap for free.  That alone was enough to convert me into a fan, as if the gorgeous bag wasn't enough.

The Pearl was definitely an investment, but one I feel great about.  I waited for one of their periodic sales, and was able to get it for about $175 dollars.  If you're interested in one of your own, or any of their other gorgeous options, you can shop here

Monday, April 20, 2015

What I Wish I Bought - Summer Weddings

For the first time, I have a wedding to go to this summer. I've been to weddings before, but this is the first of my friends to get married, and the first time I'm the receiver of the invite, instead of the parasitic plus-one of my parents.  And that, naturally, requires a new outfit.  I already have a dress (thank you, thredup), but I've been passing some of the more boring work days virtually shopping for some other options.  My favorites are below!

I'm most partial to number 3, if only because it is Gettysburg Great.  Also, all but number three come in other fun colors. And in case you need something fancier, I'm dying over this dress.

And in a vaguely related plug, ebates is my new favorite thing.  They give you a percentage cashback whenever you buy something using their website.  You just visit ebates and get redirected to the store you're shopping in. I installed the chrome plug in, and now an ebates button appears at the top of the page whenever I'm shopping on an eligible site.. One click and they credit me a few days later. So far, I've got 20 bucks in cashback banked, all from buying things I would have purchased anyway.  You can sign up here (it's free and you get money...)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Project 365 // April 13 - 19

Once again, mostly dogs and flowers.  Sorry not sorry.
April 13

April 14

April 15

April 16

April 17

April 18

April 19

Friday, April 17, 2015

Week in Review

Sooooo, I'll be on a plane to Dublin in 3 weeks.  How the heck did that happen?!?  This week was the duty week from hell (6/7 nights), but I'm looking forward to my final weekend duty of the year.  And tonight I'm hosting a pickle taste test for my students, which is ironic because I HATE pickles. The things I'll do for the kids....

Proof I Wore Pants

*Indicates that it's part of my Style Remix from Sarah's Real Life

This Week in Pictures

Links I Love

I have a hard time imaging the frame of mind of whoever came up with this, but these are some of the best yelp reviews I've ever read

One of my top three favorite things about living in Copenhagen was this store and now it's coming here!

My personal style is a bit different than this article, but it's an interesting perspective

Testing 100 mascaras next to each other is ridiculous, but the results are pretty cool

It makes me crazy sad that we live in a society where this is even a thing

And a bonus one for my favorite librarians - realistic YA

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Everlane Tee Review

In my new wardrobe quest, I've been trying to focus more on quality, rather than quantity.  When I recently misplaced my white v neck t-shirt (how does that even happen?!), I took the plunge and bought 2 Everlane tees to replace it.  Everlane is an American company that produces all of it's products in the US and focuses on being transparent with their products and placements. Their message is fabulous, and I love supporting a smaller, American business instead of a giant corporation (coughOld Navycough).

everlane, everlane tee, everlane v neck, white tee, everlane u neck

The two tees I ordered were the Cotton U-Neck and the Cotton V-Neck (both $15, free shipping on 2+ items). I ordered both in my usual large.  The tees arrived wicked fast - 3 days after ordering and packaged beautifully.  It made me happy that they didn't send me a giant box for 2 shirts... I had pretty strict requirements for my new tees -

                 Long enough sleeves to cover my upper arms
                 V neck modest enough that I could wear it to work
                 Fitted enough to tuck in, but not super revealing
                 Comfortable and soft cotton

everlane, everlane tee, comparison, white

Overall, the tees surpassed my expectations.  Granted, they're just tee shirts, but I love the quality and feel better wearing them than my previous cheapo options.  They check each requirement box, and are more comfortable than others.  The U neck, despite being the same size as the V neck, is significantly looser fitting .  I actually love this, though I can't wear it to work.  It's a perfect weekend layering piece.  The only downside to both is that the fabric is a bit thin.  I don't personally mind, but it may be a bigger deal for others.

If you're interested in ordering either tee (or anything from Everlane's gorgeous collection), you can do so here

UPDATE (7/8/15) - I wish that these tees had fared better, but alas.  The U-neck, which has been the favorite, has been retired after 5 or 6 little holes appeared on the bottom. I don't necessarily blame the shirt - those holes happen to many of my shirts, but I was a little disappointed that they didn't last longer.  I still have and wear the V neck, but the thinness of the fabric has turned me off a little, as I feel weird wearing it to work.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Lust List // D'Orsay Flats

I'm writing this from my kitchen table, sitting between two wide open windows, enjoying 60 degree weather and the 5 dozen flowers I bought yesterday when the heat went to my head.  Deuces, winter.  In the spirit of the thaw, I've gathered up a few different d'orsay flat options.  I'm a little obsessed with the sleek, elegant shape and cutout style.  I have one pair, but they have two different ankle straps, which makes putting them on a struggle too great for the likes of me.  One of the pairs below will likely come home with me soon... 

All are under 60 dollars...

Unrelated, but Target's shoe game is super on point right now - I'll take these, these, these and these ahthankyouverymuch

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Project 365 // April 6 - April 12

April 6

April 7

April 8

April 9

April 10

April 11

April 12

Friday, April 10, 2015

Week in Review

Not much to report from this week.  Our office manager was out on vacation, so I spent a nutty work week at the front desk, managing a whole bunch of visitors.  It was madness and an absolute blast. I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend that (fingers crossed) will bring some gorgeous weather.

Proof I Wore Pants
*Part of my Style Remix challenge with Sarah's Real Life

This Week in Pictures

Links I Love

I just bought this baby, and cannot wait to get my hands on it

This website has become my favorite internet rabbit hole to disappear down and makes me want to buy allllll the skincare products

This lady is 115 years old - Mom, you could get another decade out of Helen

NYC has never had an appeal to me, but this loft might be my dream space right now

I'm in trailer heaven - two of my favorite shows just released their promos - here and here

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Book Review // Big Little Lies, In the Kingdom of Ice, Being Mortal

Three more books down!  All of them were big hits for me, though they're all super different.  Big Little Lies is probably my favorite book I've read so far this year, followed pretty closely by Being Mortal.

1 // 2 // 3

Big Little Lies //  This was the first book in a while that I really couldn't put down.  I reached the midpoint and stayed up late (for me) finishing it.  I loved the story-telling style, I loved the characters, I loved that the twist at the end was completely out of left field in the best way.  I've read Moriarty's previous book and didn't love that, but Big Little Lies was fabulous. Perfect for a vacation/staycation.

Being Mortal //  I'm not entirely sure why I picked this book up, but it ended up being a huge hit for me. The beginning was a little rough (slow going, lots of statistics), but once the story telling started, I was hooked.  The author uses real-life examples to examine how America manages the aging/dying. It felt particularly poignant for me, having watched both my mom and dad manage aging loved ones in the last few years, and coming up against a lot of the issues that Gawande brings up. I think that most people would find the book engaging, especially anyone involved in the care of someone elderly.

In the Kingdom of Ice //  I harbor a deep love for historical novels, fiction and nonfiction alike. This particular book is about polar exploration in the late 19th century.  While I doubt everyone would enjoy this as much as I did, the author did a beautiful job making the story accessible and engaging, and I learned so much about a topic I didn't have any context for.  It took me a while to get through the novel (not the most exciting book I've ever read), but was definitely worth the effort.

Overall, I would say that anyone who hasn't read Big Little Lies, and is in need of a quick, lightish, fun book, should definitely pick it up, but all 3 are definitely worth a look.

Monday, April 6, 2015

LOFT Try On and a Style Challenge

Last weekend, I swung by the LOFT store by my parents house to make a couple returns and try on a few things. LOFT has been killing it with the new arrivals, and I've been dying to see if any of them work for me.  I've got a wedding and a few semi-formal events this summer, so having a couple of versatile cocktail/work dresses seems smart.

This was my main objective in going into LOFT - I loved how this looked on the online model. Unfortunately,  I don't think this silhouette is flattering on me.  There's no waist definition, and the color washes me out.  No thanks!

Poplin Crop Illusion Dress

It's hard to tell in the picture, but this dress is just like the first in terms of the top, but the back is way more open. Like, can't wear a bra open. Not cute.  The shape, however, is better, at least on me, in part because the skirt is more full. Also, I LOVE the fabric, which is a light cotton, and that the dress has pockets.  I would say it's a definite go for anyone who can go braless, or has better non-traditional bra options.

Scuba Flounce Dress

I had high hopes for this dress - defined waist! covered boobs! cute flippy bottom! yay! Unfortunately, the proportions felt weird.  The waist thing was a couple inches higher than my natural waist, which kind of ruined the definition I was hoping for.  And the cute flippy bottom? It sat basically right under my butt and made the skirt feel straight scandalous.  Nobody wants to see that... Also, the shoulder details made me look like a linebacker.  Major pass, but it would probably be perfect on someone more petite

Seamed Ponte Flippy Skirt

A win, finally! I LOVE the color of this skirt, and the slightly flared silhouette (note - in the picture, I didn't realize that the lining was bunched up).  The material is really stretchy and comfortable, which makes it easy to tuck tops in, but because the waistband lays flat, I can also wear things over it. Double the fun!

And now for something completely different!  This month, I will be participating in Sarah's Style Remix challenge.  I've chosen 10 items (listed below) and I'll wear at least one of them every day in April.  Most of the things I'm working with are things I wear anyway, but I want to challenge myself to wear them different ways. Here's what I'm working with -

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Project 365 // March 30 - April 5

March 30

March 31

April 1

April 2

April 3

April 4

April 5