Monday, January 6, 2014

My Winter Wardrobe

If you run into me, just smile and we'll exchange pleasantries.  There is no need to comment on my outfit because, you see, it is likely the same one (or a similar version) as the last time you saw me.  Hey, I am not ashamed!  I found a cute, comfortable look, and I'm stickin' with it.

I never really knew how I felt about leggings outside the house.  I was all for them for inside but shied away since I was undecided.  But then Pinterest Told Me To told me that it was okay as long as you abide by a simple rule- cover your "crotchal" area.  (Her word, not mine.)  Sheaffer, at PTMT, swears by the Hue 'Ultra' Leggings with a wide waistband.  This seemed like a good compromise- I would spend a little bit of money on my leggings and minimize my fear that I would be caught out in public with what might as well be this hose in the sunlight.  Sheaffer buys hers at Nordstrom, but I saved a few dollars buying mine here.  They really are great!  Plenty thick.  Plenty long.  (I'm 5' 8", so that's a biggie.)  And, best of all, that keep you sucked in!  Who wouldn't spend a little extra moolah for that feature?!  

So my next task was to cover my crotchal area.  Done and done!  I found this wide neck tunic in fun spring hues and accidentally bought it in every color.  There is also a tan color I bought in-store, if I'm being completely honest.  Enjoy that side view picture because you won't be getting many of those.  I just wanted to show you that this tunic is a rule follower.  And for less than $12 a pop, why not buy it in every color?!  

So there you have it- my winter uniform.  Tunic, leggings, scarf, boots, fun jewelry...and out the door or cozied up by the fire.  

Friday, January 3, 2014

Pinspiration: January

I have spent the past year in hot pursuit of the perfect pair of purple pants to pull off this number:

You can see why I would be so crazed- it's gorgeous!  So finally after snagging a violet victory, I was able to put this together:

Purple skinny jeans ($12)- Mine are a bit more of a true purple. Check out this option for more of a burgundy hue.  
V-neck sweater ($12)- New York and Company is having a HUGE New Year's sale, and this sweater is just one of many things deeply discounted.  It also comes in tons of colors.  
Leopard scarf ($14.99)- This is this-years leopard scarf from Target.  Mine is a slightly older model.

**Phone case: Dollar Tree for $1.  Isn't it even cuter now that you know it was only a dollar?!**

Somehow in the Thanksgiving/start of Christmas mayhem, my December Pinspiration went unlinked...until now.  It is my very favorite outfit combo that currently resides in my closet.  

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Rule of 7

Happy (almost) New Year!

I'm always thankful for fresh starts.  It is an opportunity to reflect, refine, and try again.  So naturally, I'm thinking about my New Year's resolutions for 2014.

This year's resolutions are based on 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker.  She is hillarious!  I kept having to read parts of it aloud to friends because it is too funny not to share.  Warning: it's one of those books where you cen't just put it back on the shelf with a simple "that way nice".  You have to do something about it...dang it!  

In the book, Jen chooses one area of her life to simplify per month.  This is also to connect back to the spiritual discipline of fasting.  The number 7 is also recurring throughout the month- number of keeper items, items to gives, times to do something, etc.  

So...what's this going to look like?  
Each month I will have a monthly focus with the hope that some of the good behaviors will stick even when it's not in the spotlight.  I will try to stick with the "rule of 7" to shape my goals.  

Here is my line-up for the year:
January- Financial Fast
February- Giving to Others
March- Going Green
April- In the Kitchen
May- Financial Fast
June- Unplugged
July- Encourage Other
August- Prayer
September- Financial Fast
October- In a Book
November- Possessions
December- The Gospels

I'm excited about the variety and the challenge!'s this going to work?
My aim is to blog about my progress on the monthly focus (the good, the bad, and the ugly) at least twice per month.  At the end of each month, I'll outline the nitty-gritty for the next month's focus.  I would love for you to join me!  Take this idea and change it to best fit your lifestyle.  Blog about your experience or comment here to let me (and others) know how it's going.

January: Financial Fast
You might have noticed that this challenge repeats throughout the year.  I'm going to try it without many rules to play by.  So here's the gist- cut out the extra.  For me, it will be a month without a pedicure, Starbucks run, and movie tickets.  I bank online, and it tracks my spending and provides a monthly average.  Taking the difference from my monthly average and Financial Fast (FF) average, I will donate the difference to an organization of my choosing.  

Again, I would love, love for you to join me!  Change it so that it best works for you.  I'm always looking for an idea I can "borrow".  Who's in?!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My December Favorite Things

I'm excited to link up with the Favorite Things Party for December!  As the holidays roll around, you likely find yourself thinking about gifts to give, holiday party wear, and New Year's resolutions.  At least those are three things that are bouncing around in my head, and they've inspired my favorite things for the month.

I sincerely hope that Santa saw this monogrammed phone case on my list!  It was bolded, highlighted, and on there three times!!  These monogrammed phone cases by mgramcases are so stinkin' cute I had a hard time choosing just one to feature here.  You owe it to yourself to peruse the pages of cute designs!  You're probably thinking, "Did she forget that these are our favorite things under $10?"  That's the best part!!  This beauty come in right on the money- $10.  At that price, who doesn't need a monogrammed phone case this holiday season?!

As you plan out your festive outfits for upcoming holiday parties, don't forget the details- like your manicure.  I always do my own mani because I like to change out the color frequently, and let's face it, it chips too easily to spend a bunch of money.  I love, love this Sinful nailpolish!  It's sold at lots of major retailers- Walmart, Target- but I get mine from Walgreens.  They put it on sale about once a month, and you can get it for less than a dollar a bottle after bucks, points, stickers on your sticker chart, whatever it is they give you.  The best part- the one dollar manicure will last for a solid week!  I don't get that kind of result with my OPI polish.  Consider me sold on Sinful nailpolish.  
Not to brag, but totally bragging, in a few short weeks, I can say that I read through the Bible in 2013.  This was always a feat I considered impossible this side of retirement.  But I made it a priority, gave up the misconception that I could read before bed without falling asleep, sacrificed a bit of my morning sleep time, and did it.  I am so grateful for this experience!  It is wonderful to start my morning with scripture. I also really enjoy this One Year Bible.  You read a section from the Old Testament, a section from the New, part of Psalms and Proverbs each day.  (You actually read through Psalms twice during the year.)  I like the mix and bite-size passages each day.  Let's face it- there's only so much Lamentations a girl can take.  I hope to get another translation and read through it again another year.  I encourage you to scoop up a One Year Bible for under $10 and resolve to read through God's Word in 2014.  

I would love for some of my favorite things to become yours!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Getting Pinspired

I love, love, love having Pinterest as a source of fashion inspiration!  It has helped me coordinate many pieces that had been pushed to the back of my closet and, of course, prompted me to add some new items to my collection.

This is one of my favorite Pinspired looks.  It has made the rounds- out with friends, church, school, dinner with family, vacation.  Currently, it's resting before it's next tour of duty.

And here is my version of the look:
Not too shabby, if you ask me.

-Military Jacket- Old Navy- $27.97 on sale
-White 3/4- length boatneck from JCP.  Mine is about a year old, but here is a similar look on clearance for $6.99.
-My favorite pants in black- $13.44
-Brown Boots (old from Kohl's- I'm asking for this replacement pair ($49.99 on sale) for Christmas.)
-Stella & Dot Kimberly Necklace- not frugal, but beautiful
-Purse- Charming Charlie's- I bought this purse about a year and a half ago but only started carrying it recently.  I love it so much, I wish I had purchased two!  It is no longer sold online, but here is another lovely look- $49.99 (Currently, they are running a $10 off promotion and free shipping on orders over $50.  Throw a cute bracelet in your shopping bag, and start counting down the days until delivery.)

Check back Tuesday for the cutest gray booties under $20!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Black Friday Must Haves: Walmart

Disclaimer: I am not a Black Friday shopper!  Do I love a good deal? Absolutely.  But know what I love a little bit more? SLEEP!!  

I'll do a little B.F. shopping online or later in the weekend.  This works for me because I'm never rushing after the big-ticket electronic items.  

I know Walmart is getting a bad rap for how early they are starting their sale, but our family typically gets cabin fever late afternoon/early evening and goes for a drive.  I'm just thinking that this year our drive can lead to our local Walmart parking lot.  

Here's what I'll be making a bee line to: 
(all photos are hyperlinked- click for more details)
This chevron suitcase with green trim was obviously made for me.  Besides, my friend and I are going on a work trip in January, so I don't even have a choice. Must have!
The B.F. price tag: $25. (In store only)

I am totally crazy about scarves!  But my current weakness is for infinity scarves.  They are foolproof.  Just pop it on, wrap, twist, and you're perfectly styled.  So easy!  You can tell from the picture that these are lovely, but what you can't tell is that there are two of them in each package!
B.F. price tag: $4 for two infinity scarves!!
(I need to be sedated!)

I'm a teacher by day, so it should comes as no surprise that school supplies will make my list.  They would also make a great gift for any crafter.  This is a set of 28 multicolored Sharpie markers.  Typically, a good deal on Sharpies is about $.50 each.  This set is priced at $8.88!  That's less than $.32 a piece!  

I'm probably the only one, but I could use more storage, especially in the living room.  We have unsightly stacks of blankets and games littering the corners of our living room that could neatly be tucked into this storage ottoman.  For space, I would need to use this ottoman as a coffee table.  I've seen this done well before by putting a pretty tray on top with a couple of decorative items.  This ottoman has seriously been on my wish list for several years!
B.F. price tag: $29

What deal will you be losing sleep over this Black Friday?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Seeing Stripes

Do you every have to ration items in your closet because, if left to your own devices, you would wear it everyday?  Lately, I've had to throw on the brakes when it comes to this navy striped tee from Target ($12).  It is easy to accessorize and comfortable. What's not to love?!

Here are two quick and easy looks that center around this simple yet chic tee:

The Look: 
My favorite pants ($13.44)- I seriously own these pants in every color! They are skinny but are substantial enough to be real pants. No legging worries here!
Tan Open Weave Scarf (pretty sure I paid $6.97- in stores only)  Isn't it gorgeous!  I love how full it is!!
Bangles- Part of a set I got on clearance at Target.
Dusty Blue Earrings- I bought these in the store but here are similar ones online: Dangles ($4.99) and Tear-shaped ($5.50)
Brown Boots (old from Kohl's- I'm asking for this replacement pair ($49.99 on sale) for Christmas.)

The Look:
Mustard Cords ($17.88 on sale)  These are juniors, which scared me, but they were pretty close to ladies sizing because of the stretch.  
Stella & Dot Kimberly Necklace (Not very frugal, but it was a birthday present!)

What item in your closet are you tempted to wear everyday?