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

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.

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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

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

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.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Project 365 // March 30 - April 5

March 30

March 31

April 1

April 2

April 3

April 4

April 5

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Easter Traditions

Growing up, Easter was always one of my favorite holidays.  The reasons have changed over the years (bonnets no longer hold their appeal), but I give my parents a lot of credit for creating meaningful traditions that we all still enjoy.

My grandmother used to make my doll, Lisa, and I matching outfits. The best.

Church was always part of our day (duh).  When I was younger, we'd go mid-morning and get all gussied up.  There was an egg hunt and lots of celebration. Once we got older, we started going to the sunrise service.  It remains my favorite service we attended, though I haven't gone in years.  After the service, all the men folk served up a hot breakfast, which always included those hashbrown patties (a la McDonald's), which I still feel weird about eating on not-Easter.

Back when bonnets where still the shiz for me

Once the fam all got home, our Easter basket hunt would begin.  My dad made up rhyming, coded hints that would send my brother and I all around the house and yard, figuring out where our baskets were. God bless him, Dad kept the game up long after Owen and I stopped believing in the Easter bunny, probably because I am insistent on maintaining traditions far beyond their appropriate expiration date.

After the hunt, Owen and I would usually settle into playing with whatever was in the baskets, and slowly demolishing the entire carton of Whopper's that were inevitably included.  Every other year, we'd get together with my cousins, often with an egg hunt in which my cousin would open every egg, in search of those with money in them, then discard them, leaving a trail of upset cousins and Reese's cups in his wake. Exactly in the spirit of the resurrection.

This year, my family (minus my brother) will all be together for the first time in a few years.  While I think it's officially time to retire the basket hunt, I'm grateful that most of our other traditions still stand.

Shoutout to mi madre for pulling these pictures together