Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Belted Vest

Thank you so much for all of your words of advice and tricks on yesterday's post about struggling with layering. You guys had some great ideas, including lots of belting. I've wanted to belt this vest since I saw Audrey's post so that's what I did this morning. I really like the way this came together, even if I kind of look like I'm ready for a picnic.

I really like the idea of wearing more vests because like Elissa said, they add a layer without adding bulk to arms, which is something I try to avoid, so I'm going to be on the look out for more vests. Bri had a great tip of wearing a tighter tank over a button down, but under the sweater, which helps give you more shape. I can't wait to try that out! You ladies are so smart.

Vest: Old Navy
Shirt: Gap  {similar}
Belt: H&M  {similar}
Jeans: Gap  {very similar}
Boots: Frye  {exact}
Watch: Fossil  {very similar}
Nails: OPI My Throne for a Cranberry Scone

In other news, I went to Goodwill today for a little sweater shopping. I found a few finds, and then experienced the biggest thrifting disappointment - I found a grey J. Crew schoolboy blazer in pretty much perfect condition....for $7.99....in a size 4. I am not a size four. Dang it. I'm pretty disappointed :(

Linking up with Marionberry's Trend of the Month,  wiww and Everybody, Everywear.

Have you linked up with October's Budgeting Bloggers yet?

Monday, October 29, 2012

On Layering


Fall means for most of us cooler regions means dropping temperatures, and dropping temperatures means more clothes. We're all about the layering. I look to other women out there and  see the way they layer and I say to myself "Self, you have those pieces in your closet - do that!". So then I pin all of these pictures and tell myself I'm going to recreate them.

And then every morning when I'm trying to figure out what to wear, I think today's the day I'm going to be one of those people that effortlessly layer...and it never turns out right. I know my expectations of what I want it to look like are too high - my body is not like Lilly's, so why would the clothes look like that on me? The layers end up bulky and instead of defining anything, my boobs just become a blob with my waist, making me look heavier and flabbier than I am. So then I go back to boring shirts and scarves because that's what I kind of know how to do.

And then I'm upset all over again for falling into the trap I started this blog to avoid. My outfits become repetitious and bore me, so I'm sure they are boring you. How does one break out of this trap? How do I prevent looking like the Pillsbury Doughboy when trying to layer? Help me internet.


Shirt: H&M
Scarf: Present from my sister

Belt: Madewell  {similar}
Jeans: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Tory Burch  {exact}
Watch: Target  {only in stores}
Bracelet: DIY

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Yesterday was the first time Chris and I actually tailgated before a Badger game...even though we've been to dozens of games (shockingly, you're not allowed to drink if you're in the marching band). It was also the Halloween game (and Homecoming) so there were lots of costumes out and about. Chris's friend Mike went as Santa, and Chris was...a Wisconsin gangster? Yeah, no idea. I'm not a big Halloween person so I did not dress up. Not sorry.

Sweatshirt: University Bookstore
Vest: The North Face
Scarf: DIY
Jeans: Urban Outfitters
Boots: Frye
Sunglasses: Color Me Rad Souvenir


This month's Budgeting Bloggers is up and can be found here!

Linking up with Modern Modest Beauty.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

October Budget

October Budget 2
1. Laundry by Design Jacket via Savers: $20  {seen on Instagram}
2. Gap Sweater: $49.95 + 30% off + exchanged for returned sweater from last month = $0   {seen here}
3. Old Navy Black Cardigan: $19.95 + 30% off = $14  {seen here, here}
4. Marc by Marc Jacobs Shoes: $199 at DSW + 50% off + $5 coupon = $95  {seen here, here}
5. Forever 21 Polka Dot Blouse: $19.80 + $12 return credit = $8   {seen here, here}
6. Forever 21 Maroon Sweater: $19.80  {seen here, here}
7. Thrifted Sweater via Goodwill: $5  {alteration seen here}

October Budget = $162

I did go a little above my $150 budget, but I'm very happy with the purchases I made. My new winter jacket is a style I've been looking for a while now, but most new jackets are $100+, so I was thrilled when I found this jacket at Savers. I could have waited 2 days to get 25% off on Monday (a special they have every week) but I was scared it would be gone by then so I bought it for the full Savers price. I bought a couple new sweaters that I've already worn several times now with the dropping temperatures. My Marc by Marc Jacobs shoes, found in the clearance section, are another style I've been looking for for a while, and the Forever 21 blouse is my favorite F21 purchase of all time.

In November I'm hoping to find a great pair of dark wash skinny jeans, and a patterned sweater like this or this one. I'm also going to Germany for a week in the middle of the month, so who knows what I'll find over there. I do have several hundred euros stashed away so I may just leave those purchases out of next months budget ;)

How did you do this month? Link up below - please make sure you link back so your readers can discover other budgeting bloggers!

ETA: I purchased the bare Minerals concealer as well after I made this list. It is around $30. I finally scraped the last of my Boi-ing concealer out, and was itching to try something new.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Behind the Blog: Along the Lines of Style

I've been blogging for about 6 months now, and have been reading blogs for over a year. Many personal style/fashion bloggers talk about their clothes, their closets and their shopping, but no one really talks about the actual blogging. Behind the Blog will be about bloggers discussing their motivations, experiences (good and bad),  and advice about blogging. I wanted one of my personal favorites, Whitney from Along the Lines of Style, to be the first featured. Whitney is a teacher and coach who is prepping for her first half marathon. She blogs about her style in and out of the classroom, as well as featuring Women Who Work (see my feature here!)
Tell us what motivate you to start blogging. Were you following a lot of personal style/fashion blogs before hand, or did you go in blind?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chasing Away the Blues

My outfit is very blue today....but I'm not! Chris is finally back from his two month rotation up north so now I have him all to myself for the next month...until he leaves again. Until then, I will force my camera into his hand and make him take my pictures ;)


Why hasn't anyone invented button ups that don't want to burst open at the bust? I'm tempted to just sew all of my shirts shut.


Cardigan: Old Navy
Blouse: Old Navy  {similar on sale}
Belt: H&M
Jeans: Joe's Jeans  {very similar}
Watch: Fossil
Shoes: Tory Burch  {exact}

Tomorrow I'm being featured on Delusions of Grandeur and it's the first day for my new feature, Behind the Blog. Whitney from Along the Lines of Style is being featured first - make sure you check back to hear all about Whitney's experiences with blogging!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Months ago I discussed how I used to never wear much color - it was black, greys and maroons. While it made getting dressed every day easy, it was also boring. I've been making an effort to expand my closet with versatile pieces that bring a little life back into my closet. Since seeing this picture, I've  been itching to try more red and purple together. It's a bit bright, but it sure does shake up a gloomy Tuesday. 

Are there any color combinations you've been wanting to try?


Blazer: Old Navy  {similar}
Scarf: Unknown...
Pants: Urban Outfitters  {one of my five favorites)
Watch: Fossil
Bracelet: vacation souvenir (up close on Instagram)
Shoes: Rocket Dog via DSW  {exact}

linking up with wiww.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Holes in my Closet: Black Cardigan

I've been going through and reorganizing my closet lately, and it has led me to evaluate what clothes I wear a lot, and which ones I don't. I wear cardigans and blazers all the time, so I also noticed what I'm lacking in those areas. I've been meaning to get a black cardigan for a while, but most that I find are too short on me. I stopped by at Old Navy this weekend to see if I could find a certain dress, and found this cardigan instead. With a 30% off coupon, it only cost me $13. It's not an investment piece in price, but it is something my closet was lacking.

In a few days for this month's Budgeting Bloggers I'll talk about a few other holes in my closet I'm hoping to fill in the coming months.

Cardigan: Old Navy  {exact}
T-Shirt: Gap
Scarf: DIY
Jeans: American Eagle  {exact}
Belt: Old Navy
Shoes: Tory Burch  {exact}
Nails: Revlon Grey Suede
Watch: Boccia
Ring: hand-me-down from my mom

Have you noticed any holes in your closets? Is  there anything you've been looking for recently?

Congrats to Rosy for winning the Tube Bracelet Giveaway! Thank you to everyone that entered!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Five Favorites: Pieces of Clothing

1. J.Crew Schoolboy Blazer

It goes with everything, I took the time to make sure it was the fit and style I wanted, and because it took me several months to save towards.

2. UO  Black Mid-Rise Cigarette Jeans 

I actually own 2 pairs of these, and wear them at least 3 times a week. They are so comfortable, they help cover any stomach issues without being mom jeans, and you can wear them with everything. The material is also more of a jean, not jegging, so they don't suction your legs like certain other "skinny" jeans do.

3. Forever 21 Striped Top

Because it's perfectly worn in, even if it is missing a button.

4. H&M Floral Tunic

One of the few floral things I own, but I'm complimented on it every time I wear it. Plus it's perfect for pattern mixing

5. Old Navy Pink Chambray

Between the pink and the blue chambray, the pink pulls ahead because you can wear it with jeans without looking like a cowboy. It's so soft, and since I ordered it in a tall, it's long enough.

Your turn! What are your five favorite pieces of clothing?

P.S. Because I couldn't decide on just 5 total pieces, I'm going to write a 5 favorite accessories post too...eventually.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Maroon + Leopard

Happy Friday! The pups and I are off to visit my parents for the weekend - I anticipate lots of rolling around in mud and cow chasing ;)


1 day left to enter the bracelet giveaway!
Sweater: Forever 21
Blouse: J. Crew  {similar}
Jeans: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Tory Burch  {exact}
Watch: Kate Spade  {exact}
Bracelet: DIY

linking up with wiww

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Before my co-worker/friend Emily and I had annoying things like car payments and other life responsibilities (she just got engaged!!), we used to do a ton of shopping....like every weekend shopping. Our style is very similar (except she loves pink and sparkle much more than I do) so our separate closets have a lot of either exact, or very similar, pieces.

I would be lying if I said that today was the first time we've worn the same thing to work, but it has happened so often that our supervisor now comments on it.

If we weren't forbidden from taking pictures on company grounds I would prove it.


Blazer: LC Lauren Conrad {similar}
Scarf: H&M  {similar}
Pin: my Mom made it!
Shirt: Gap
Jeans: Urban Outfitters  {exact}
Watch: Boccia
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs  {exact}
Nails: seen here

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I try not to share too much about my current "life" situation because frankly, it's all so up in the air. As you know, I work for a pharmaceutical development company...but I'm actually in the process of applying to medical school. It's been a rough couple of years of applying, with plenty of money and tears spent throughout the process. I interviewed at my #1 choice last year....and it obviously did not work out.

Today I found out I get a second chance at it.

November 9th. Cross all your digits for me.

What do I wear?!
Vest: Old Navy {similar}
Shirt: H&M
Scarf: DIY
Jeans: American Eagle  {exact}
Shoes: Tory Burch  {see my breaking-in post here}
Watch: Target
Nails: seen here
Bracelets: H&M, DIY {instructions and chance to win here}

(sorry about the somewhat blurry pic - it started to pour right after I took the first picture so I only had 1 chance)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Breaking In Tory Burch Revas

I received my Revas for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. I was forewarned that they were going to take a bit to break in, so I've been wearing them about once a week since I got the right size. I'm on my feet and walking around for about 50% of the day, so it's important that I'm not limping around in uncomfortable shoes.

The first day I wore them all day, they didn't hurt until the afternoon. My problem areas are on the front sides, as you can see in the pictures below. Some have said that the back bunching pinches and cuts into their heels, but I did not have that experience at all. I actually think the bunching is kind of comfortable!
These pictures are from the second full day of wearing the Revas. They were taken immediately after removing my shoes. I promise my feet were clean that morning, but as you can see, the shoes left my toes a little black. I assume the leather is to blame for the color, and will go away with a few more wears. The problem areas are on top of my feet (the top of the balls of my feet?). The shoes are pretty stiff in this area, and will take the most time to break in.
And here are my feet after the third full day. As you can see, the blackness on the toes is a bit less than on the second day, and the marks on the top of my feet are a bit lighter. I hardly even felt the shoes this day, so I think 1 more day and they'll be pretty much broken in!

I didn't use any of the tricks out there to break in shoes (like wool socks and hair dryers) but I would love to hear your experiences with breaking in shoes. Do you tough it out or stretch them out at home?

Chestnuts About You + Save the Date

A little half and half action for the rest of the week. I used the hole reinforcer technique but only after applying a layer of Seche Vite over the lighter color, and allowing it to dry for at least 5 minutes. My right hand surprisingly looks better than my left hand, but I was in a race against natural light, so the uglier hand will have to do for now.
Base: OPI Chestnuts About You
Top: Sally Hansen Save the Date (Thank you Miss Lizzi!!)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Altering Thrift Finds

In an effort to save some money and to be a smarter consumer, I've been trying to buy more clothes secondhand. As I've mentioned in the past, my mom is a huge thrifter which has been a great influence in my own thrifting. My rules for buying second hand clothes are the same for buying clothes new - it has to be something I can see myself wearing multiple ways, and it has to fill a hole in my closet.

DSC09345 Even though I live in Wisconsin and our winters are brutal, I don't have that many thick sweaters. I did just buy a maroon (NOT oxblood!) sweater, but wanted a cream colored one as well. I found this sweater at Goodwill this weekend for $4. I loved the color, the neckline, and the length...but I hated the sleeves. Luckily I still am in possession of my mom's sewing machine, so with a few stitches and snips I had myself the perfect slightly oversized sweater.

Sweater: thrifted and altered
Scarf: Forever 21
Purse: Gift from my best friend
Jeans: Gap  {very similar}
Boots: Frye  {exact}
Watch: Target  {only in stores}
Bracelet: DIY (you can win one here!)

Linking up with Real Girl Glam, Work Clothes I Suppose, and wiww.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Color Run Manicure

As you can see, we look ridiculous...and awesome. I got a full handful of pink thrown in my face (yum!...) right at the end, which is why I look like I'm glowing. Even though it was raining, we had so much fun! If you ever get the chance to do the Color Run/Color Me Rad races, sign up!
White: Julep Eileen
Yellow: Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow
Orange: Essie Tart Deco
Blue: Essie Aruba Blue
Green: Color Club Age of Aquarius
Orange: Julep Natasha, c/o

Linking up with Mani Monday.

Only a few days left to win your choice of a silver or gold plated tube bracelet!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Twigs on my Back

Right after I finished snapping these pictures, Baer ran away. Our yard isn't fenced in all the way, and he just kind of...took off. Found him 15 minutes later playing with another dog in the neighbors yard. To get to that yard though, I had to climb through some brush...which is how I got twigs on my back.

In my September budget post, I said that I was going to go back to get that polka dot Gap sweater. I did go back and get it. I've been playing around with how to wear it, and I came to the conclusion that it just wasn't going to work out. I returned it yesterday and picked up this sweater instead. I already know that I'll wear it heaps more than I would have worn the other one. Gap card holders get 30% their entire purchase through the end of the weekend!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win your choice of gold or silver plated tube bracelet!

Sweater: Gap  {exact}
Scarf: Victoria's Secret
Jeans: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Old Navy  {exact}
Earrings: Tiffanys
Watch: Boccia
Bracelets: DIY, Tiffanys

YOU GUYS. I'm doing a Color Run (technically it's Color Me Rad) on Saturday and I'm SO EXCITED. It's supposed to rain but we're not going to let that ruin our {explosion of color} fun.

linking up with wiww.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Metal Tube Bracelet Tutorial + a Giveaway

I've loved the idea of long tube bead bracelets for a long time, but I haven't found one in stores any where - so I decided to make my own! I played around with the method of making these, and came up with this easy tutorial. If you'd rather just win one, there's a giveaway at the end!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Plaids and Rain

Oh heyyy, welcome to my basement, where pet hair comes to party. I've been wondering what I was going to do about taking pictures for this here blog once winter really sets in, when it's dark before and after work. My questions were all answered today when it was dark before I left, and pouring rain when I got back. Looks like you'll be seeing a lot more of my basement and a lot less of my backyard from now on.

But you can here for me and not the background, right?!

Yesterday I mentioned that I was hoping homemade banana bread and crafting were going to brighten the beginning of the week. The banana bread was delicious - you should all be disappointed you don't live near me (if I were to share...which I'm not going to, so back off).  I also made the middle bracelet, which I now refuse to remove. I'm also going to make a silver one and document the process so you can make your own - it's super easy!

Blazer: H&M  {similar}
Blouse: H&M
Pants: Gap
Belt: The Limited
Shoes: Crown Vintage via DSW  {similar}
Watch: Target   {in stores only}
Bracelets: J. Crew via eBay, DIY (instructions and opportunity to win one here)

linking up with wiww