Thursday, January 31, 2013

behind the blog: dainty & decadent

This week Behind the Blog is Maria from Dainty & Decadent. Maria is a lawyer, a fab dresser, and a soon(ish) to be mom. She also has an amazing handbag collection that I would like to make my own...unfortunately I haven't had any success convincing her that her Chanel bag would look perfect in my closet! Even though she won't share her luxury goods with me, I'm thrilled to have her there this week!

Tell us what motivate you to start blogging. Were you following a lot of personal style/fashion blogs before you started blogging?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

all i wanna do is

Metallic Polka Dots + Red Sweater + Skinny Jeans
A few weeks ago the Midwest Prep wrote a post about what she's learned about layering, and she mentioned that she finds it easiest to wear a silky/thin shirt under a thicker sweater - you may not even have to wear a tank in between! I wanted to try this (obviously) but it wasn't until I saw Bri's post about layering her thin metallic polka dot shirt under a sweater that I kind of remembered that I wanted to try it.

So here I am...trying it. It works pretty well so if you aren't too keen on the tank in between trick, try a thin button up under a thicker sweater.

Also, I apologize for the ish quality of these pictures. This was moments before it started to basically hail, so good lighting was not on my side. Spring, feel free to join us at any time!

Metallic Polka Dots + Red Sweater + Skinny Jeans 4

Metallic Polka Dots + Red Sweater + Skinny Jeans 3
Sweater: Gap, thrifted  {save / splurge}
Button-up: Forever 21  {exact}
Jeans: American Eagle  {exact on sale}
Shoes: Tory Burch  {exact}
Necklace: H&M  {similar}
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington  {exact}

Metallic Polka Dots + Red Sweater + Skinny Jeans 2

via instagram.

also, all the cool kids are on vine so so am I. find me under fhasselhof. expect lots of videos of my dogs. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

refining my wardrobe: part 1

My girl Audrey at Putting Me Together is currently doing a series on building a wardrobe from scratch for women who are looking to do a closet overhaul, or starting to build their wardrobe from the ground up. While I believe my closet is not in need of a complete overhaul, I do hope to refine what I buy, wear, and invest in. I'm going to use her guide to figure out what I like, what I should be looking for in fit, and what things I should be on the look out for to complete my closet (apparently I'm an overachiever since I have already started that). Part 1 is about figuring out what you need and what you like.

step 1: identifying your lifestyle needs

Work: My current lifestyle is going to my job 40+ hours a week. My job has safety regulations in place which means that my legs have to be covered, I have to wear flat, closed toed shoes, and I have to wear a lab coat. Other than that, we don't have a lot of regulations when it comes to work as we never see clients. Jeans are very much acceptable in my role and if I wanted to I could wear a sweatshirt every day. I am planning on going back to school....sometime in the future. More than likely, I'll need to dress more professionally than I do now. More blouses, blazers, and appropriate footwear will be needed. I'm hoping that once my future is a little bit more clear I'll be able to work towards straddling that line of building a wardrobe for the future while still being able to use the pieces for my current lifestyle.

Weekend: We don't do a lot on our weekends (if Chris isn't at the hospital) so my weekend wear doesn't change much from my work wear. During the warm months I use the weekends to wear sandals as I can't wear them to work.

Special Events: We have 7 weddings coming up this summer. Eek!

step 2: defining your style preferences

I'm not really exaggerating when I say that being on pinterest has really changed how I approach dressing myself and what I hope to look like. It was through pinterest that I really discovered style blogs, and so 500+ just outfit pictures later, I can see what my preferences are.

I like: blazers, simple patterns (stripes, polka dots, gingham), clean lines, blues, neutrals with pops of red, easy layers, bolder colors but with neutral counter-pieces, skinny jeans with flats or wide legged pants with wedges. I like the more masculine layers of dress while still being feminine - sweaters over button ups but with pearls, or blazers with scarves and feminine colors. I'm unsure if I gravitate towards looks with pants because I know that's what I can recreate, or if it's because that's what I feel most comfortable in, but that's something I'm definitely trying to explore more.

Here are the 25 looks that really stuck out to me when I was looking for pictures that I would like to be "my style". I included the sources at the bottom, but some I could not find the original source for so if you know it, please let me know so I can credit the blogger!
1   2   3   4   5
6   7   8   9  10

Next up in refining my wardrobe based on Audrey's building a wardrobe is choosing wardrobe colors, which is taking me a bit to wrap my head around. I hope to have this figured out in the next few days!

Linking up with Because Shanna Said So

Monday, January 28, 2013


Red Cardigan, Striped Dress, Cognac Accessories
One of my goals for my closet is to buy pieces that work not only for my job, but also for outside of work. I love the easiness of a simple dress for the summer time, but I've never been one to winterize a dress so there's been a bit of a learning curve for me. I've learned a lot from all of the other bloggers out there about how to make a dress appropriate for the winter, so hopefully I'm not failing you! I picked this dress up as a part of my January budget but I know I'll be wearing it straight into the summer.

Red, Black, Cognac

Red Cardigan, Striped Dress
Dress: Old Navy  {exact}
Cardigan: NY&Co.  {save / splurge}
Belt: H&M Mens
Tights: Target  {exact}
Boots: Frye  {save / exact}
Watch: Kate Spade  {exact}
Rings: Forever 21  {exact}

Red Cardi + Striped Dress

and for the future...

striped dress 3 ways
Outfit 1: Sunglasses + Cargo Jacket + Crossbody Purse + Sandals
Outfit 2: Cardigan + Necklace + Brown Belt + Boot Socks + Brown Belts
Outfit 3: Grey Sweater + Red Belt + Black Tights + Grey Boots

Linking up with wiww

Saturday, January 26, 2013

january budget

1. Gap Pants (seen here): on sale for $18
2. Thrifted Cardigan: $2
3. J. Crew Belt (seen here): on sale for $12
4. Thrifted Black Blazer: $4
5. Thrifted Ralph Lauren Sweater: $4
6. J.Crew Factory Popover(seen here): on sale for $32
7. Old Navy Dress: on sale + rewards for $9
8. Gap Belt (seen here): on sale for $7
9. Target Scarf (seen here): on sale for $5
10. Thrifted Gap Sweater: $4
11. Target Scarf (seen here): $10
12. Forever 21 Necklace (seen here): $9
13. Forever 21 Scarf: $9

= $125

So am I cheap, or just a smart consumer? I felt like I bought so much this month, but I ended up $25 under budget and still bought quite a bit. I think thrifting and good sales this month made quite a difference. I don't have any regrets about the purchases I made - I didn't buy any of it just because it was on sale so we'll just decide that I'm a smart buyer ;)

I filled a few holes with the black blazer and red sweater, which I'm very excited about. The black blazer I purchased is very similar to the one in the picture above - it's a bit more casual which works well for my current lifestyle but I know that in the future I'll need a more structured black blazer as well. The grey Target scarf is something I've wanted for a while - it was originally $15, then on sale for $10 but I still didn't buy it until it was on super clearance for $4.50. Before I started a budget, I would have purchased the scarf at full price because come on, it's only $15, who cares! But thinking about what percentage of my budget is used up with just a simple scarf made me reconsider if it's something I needed/liked enough to spend that much money on. Budgetting has definitely made me less of a impulse shopper which means I'm buying clothes I know I'll actually wear.

Next month's plan is to find a replacement pair of black skinny jeans since my favorite black jeans are now forever out of commission (they finally completely ripped). I also hope to find a nice pair of dark brown boots - I think February should be a good month for boot sales! I think these pairs (1, 2, and especially 3) are some great contenders!

How did you do this month? Link up with other budgeting bloggers below! Please make sure you link back so other bloggers can participate and so your readers can be inspired by everyone.

Friday, January 25, 2013


In case you are wondering what that title is, it's the German word for jungle. If you have ever wondered why my name is spelled so weird, it's because it's the German way of spelling Franchesca...because I'm an (permanent) alien in this country and originally from Germany. And jungle in German is dschungel. 

maybe I'll start giving you a random German word a day that someone describes my outfit. Today it's dschungel because I felt like I was going on a safari. A cold, Midwest safari, but a safari nonetheless.


Chambray: Old Navy  {exact}
Vest: Old Navy  {similar}
Jeans: Urban Outfitters  {exact}
Boots: Steve Madden  {save / splurge}
Scarf: borrowed from Emily, originally Target*
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington  {exact}
Bracelets: Forever 21

*a few weeks ago when I was debating between this scarf and the blue one, I choose the blue one. I then told Emily about all the amazing scarves on clearance, so she went and bought the one I didn't get...and then let me borrow it. What a good friend huh?


...and this is what I look like when I'm trying to figure out why my camera is taking such shoddy pictures.

linking up to mix & match fashion.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

behind the blog: bedknobs & baubles

This week on Behind the Blog we have a local Madison girl with an out of this world taste in jewelry. Jessica blogs at Bedknobs and Baubles about her love of the perfect cocktail ring, classic closet pieces, and vintage jewelry.

Tell us what motivate you to start blogging. Were you following a lot of personal style/fashion blogs before you started blogging?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Did you know that when it gets cold enough outside, electronics stop working? My remote for my camera refused to work unless I warmed in in my hand for 10 seconds. 40 seconds and 4 pictures later, I gave up. Good thing I'm such a good poser, right?


Blazer: Old Navy  {save / splurge}
Tee: Banana Republic  {similar}
Jeans: Joe's Jeans  {similar}
Scarf: Victoria's Secret
Shoes: Tory Burch  {exact}
Watch: Fossil  {similar}
Bracelets: Nordstrom


apparently I'm not very creative when it comes to wearing this blazer...

one     two
three   four

linking up with wiww and random wednesday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ignorance is not bliss

These past few days we've had somewhat of a heat wave here in Wisconsin - it was 40 degrees, which is unheard of for January! So when I was getting dressed this morning, I assumed it would still be as unseasonably warm as it had been.


Turns out it's actually the coldest it's been all winter. How inconveniant for me since I didn't know that until I was already driving to work in my little lace shirt, thin cardigan, and open neck. Newsflash Fran: Wisconsin winters are freaking cold and completely unpredictable. Maybe put more clothes on next time....


Shirt: Pitaya (old and altered)  {save / splurge}
Cardigan: Old Navy  {similar}
Jeans: American Eagle  {exact}
Necklace: Forever 21  {exact}
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington  {exact}
Shoes: Tory Burch  {exact}

Congrats to Michelle Tucker for winning the Posh'mina Giveaway by following Franish on Facebook. Be on the lookout for an email from me!

via instagram.

Monday, January 21, 2013

happiest place on earth

I copied this look off of this pin (I can't find the original source originally from C. Style). While I love love wearing this sweater as it is so warm and so comfortable, it is somewhat limiting. I tried it with my maroon skinny jeans but those suckers are just not comfortable enough to sit in all I wore my black jeans instead. In sad closet news, these jeans are about to be retired. I've been wearing them at least 2-3 times a week for over a year, and they are starting to wear through in the thighs...that's what I get for having chubby legs I suppose (but all of that cheese I ate to get here was worth it ha). I've even patched them up and will continue to wear them until they are un-patchable. Unfortunately it seems that UO isn't re-stocking these so now I'm going to have to find a new favorite pair of black skinny jeans. Do you have any recommendations? 


Sweater: Urban Outfitters  {saveexact}
Jeans: Urban Outfitters
Belt: stolen from dress
Boots: Frye  {exact}
Ring: American Eagle

Shoutout to my co-worker Emily who froze outside to take these pictures on the way back to work from the happiest place on Earth (Chipotle, obviously). Thanks girl!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Katrina recently posted about the bests of 2012 and tagged me to share my answers. I loved reading hers, so I wanted to participate...even if we're 19 days into 2013 ;)

Favorite Makeup: Hands down it's Stila's Liquid Eyeliner. It has been my go-to eyeliner for a few years now and has never let me down. It goes on smooth, is thin enough that it gets into the spaces in between my eyelashes, and never flakes. If you are looking for a liquid eyeliner, I highly recommend this. (As a runner up I would choose Too Faced Beauty Balm since I started using it in 2012 while I've been using the eyeliner since 2010. It goes on smooth, the color matches my skin perfectly, and it balances out my skin tone without covering it all up. I tried 4 different BB creams before I settled on this one. I just purchased my second tube after using the first one over the last 7 months. Definitely worth the price!)

Favorite Book: I love reading, but I didn't read a lot of books this past year. I did finally read Stiff, which is all about what happens to the bodies that are donated to science (like for body farms, medical schools and investigating how to improve car safety). It was really interesting and not as gruesome as I thought it would be...although I did skip over the airplane crash chapter because I was on a plane at the time. I really need to read more this year.

Favorite Song/Album: I really loved Florence and the Machine this year (even though their album came out end of 2011). I saw them for the second time in April and my love just grew for Flo. She's so beautiful and ethereal and I just can't wait to see here again.

Favorite Movie: Chris and I haven't had a chance to go to the movies a ton this year, but we did see the new James Bond movie in November and I really liked it. I could watch the opening song sequence for hours.

One thing you're grateful for: Besides all of conventional things I'm grateful for every day (my family, my boyfriend, my friends, my health), I would say that I'm really grateful for what blogging has added to my life. I felt really lost after I graduated from college, especially after all of my friends moved away and getting into school wasn't working out as I had hoped. While blogging isn't a new life direction, it does give me something to look forward to every day. I have found new friends that I connect with on a daily basis. I am making smarter decisions when it comes to shopping. I'm inspired by all of the other women out there blogging about their closets, families, and lives. I have a hobby and new friends and that's what I'm grateful for.

Greatest Challenge: Not getting into school last year. While it was really and truly devastating at the time, it did open a lot of doors for 2013. I got to travel (to Australia, New Zealand, Chicago, Germany, and Alabama), I got to start this blog, I got to be around to support Chris during his first year of rotations. I'm not going to lie and say that it wasn't hard to swallow, but I like to tell myself everything happens for a reason. I will get in to school at some point in the future, I just need to wait for it to happen like it is supposed to.

What are you looking forward to in 2013: Continuing this application process, traveling this summer (at least San Fran and Seattle, and then possibly Germany with Chris!), watching my youngest sister go to her Junior Prom, meeting some of you ladies, and figuring out my life. Big plans ;)

so that's what's going on in my life. what's going on in yours?

and to tag a few ladies....tell me your greatests of 2012 (no pressure though)!

Whitney from Along the Lines of Style  
Laura from Twelve by Six
Sam from Sam ipsa Loquitur
Caroline from Caroline's Day
Kim from Latte and a Prayer

Friday, January 18, 2013

poke a dot

I'm so glad to hear that I'm not alone in the winter funk of dressing ourselves. I mean, I'm not glad you're in a funk too (that would be mean) but that I'm not the only one - misery loves company, blah blah blah. 

ANYWAY. Like I mentioned, polka dot pants were purchased as a way to break out of the funk. I've actually wanted a pair of printed pants after admiring Liz's extensive collection for months but haven't really found anything I liked. But for $18 and covered in polka dots, I figured it was time to finally pull the trigger. Being relatively tall means that pants that don't come in tall sizes are short on me, and after consulting the ladies on instagram, GraceyLindsay, and Whitney thought they might be a bit too short on me as well (thank you for being honest ladies!). Luckily, there was an easy fix - I just removed the stitching of the hem, and with it still having a finished edge, I added about an inch in length. I plan on rehemming them properly the next I can use my mom's sewing machine to hid the edge but I think I'm the only one who would notice anyway.
Can we talk about this new watch? As you know, I'm a watch girl. I feel naked without one on my wrists, so I'm thrilled to add this beautiful watch to my collection. While admiring it today at work (shh, don't tell my supervisor), I realized that I don't own a watch with a simple white face. With it's classic style and rich leather,I know this watch will quickly become the front runner in my collection.

linking up with Plane Pretty.


Sweater: Gap  {save / splurge}
Pants: Gap  {exact}
Scarf: H&M
Belt: The Limited  {similar}
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington  {exact}
Shoes: Old Navy  {very similar}
Nail: Essie Ballet Slippers

and just a few ideas for the future with pieces (mostly) in my closet...

Polka Dot Pants 1,2,3

Outfit 1: Mustard Cardigan + White Blouse + Leopard Belt + Loafers
Outfit 2: Maroon Tee + Gold Necklace + Anchor Belt + Gold Watch + Leopard Loafers
Outfit 3: Lace Top + Blue Necklace + Bangles + Blue Belt + Wedges

Thursday, January 17, 2013

behind the blog: pearls & paws

I'm a big fan of Heather from Pearls and Paws. Not only does she have impeccable style, but her dog (who makes quite a bit of appearances on her blog) is too cute. Plus as both of us are UW alums, I knew she would be a smart lady to talk to ;)

Tell us what motivate you to start blogging. Were you following a lot of personal style/fashion blogs before you started blogging?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


For the last few weeks, I've been in a clothing funk. I'm uninspired when I look at my closet and the clothes in it, and I'm somewhat unsure what to do about it. Part of it is that work limits me so much (that skirts and dresses are pretty much out, as well as heels), and then of course it's the middle of the winter (hussy ankles be damned though).

On top of that, I've been putting pressure on myself to not just go out and buy random items. I want to focus on pieces that I feel will complete my closet, but finding those pieces hasn't proven to always be easy. I know that it'll take a while to find the perfect blazer or the right boots, but meanwhile I feel like I want something new to mix it up. I know that it sounds somewhat lame, needing to go out and buy something to feel happy about my closet. That feeling of "need to buy" is something I'm very much working on because it's not a healthy (mentally and financially) way to get dressed every day...

....but that didn't stop me from buying these pants (although mine were cheaper in store). Nothing like polka dot pants to shake it up a little bit.

Please tell me I'm not the only one with the winter closet doldrums.

Cardigan: Banana Republic Outlet  {save / splurge}
Tee: J. Crew  {similar}
Scarf: gift from my girl Alexa
Jeans: American Eagle  {exact}
Shoes: Tory Burch  {exact}
Watch: Fossil  {similar}

as a little social media update, I am now posting  each post in its entirety on my facebook page so if it's easier to follow along over there, check it out! I also now have a "blogged" pinterest board.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

tickled pink

I think that impending sickness I complained about implied was coming decided it wasn't going to mess around with me, and left to bother someone else. So to celebrate, I wore all of my favorite things today: polka dots, a bright scarf, a pretty ring won in a giveaway, and cute flats. 

I would like to thank my immune system for showing those germs who is boss, my boyfriend for making me food all weekend while I sulked about the "sickness" and my dogs for giving me snuggles whenever I asked for them.

I think from now on I'm going to fake sickness whenever I don't want to make dinner. Seems to work like a charm! ;)


Shirt: J.Crew Factory  {exact}
Scarf: c/o The Posh'mina  {exact}**
Jeans: Urban Outfitters  {exact}
Belt: Target
Flats: Marc by Marc Jacobs  {exact}
Watch: Boccia
Bracelet: Express
Ring: via The Demure Muse
Nails: Essie Ballet Slippers

**There's 2 days left to enter to win one of these bad boys. Enter here!


via Instagram.

linking up with wiww.

sponsor love: selfless ambition & daliene's alamo adventures

stripes 024-1
Today I'd like to introduce you to two of my amazing sponsors. I look forward to reading their blogs every day, so I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do!

First up we have Angela who blogs at Selfless Ambition. Angela has a great sense of style (this is one of my favorite outfits) and she discusses what trends work and don't work for her, which you know I love. She is also doing a 52 week Bible study if you are interested in joining her!

Angela is currently holding a giveaway celebrating hitting the 100 GFC follower mark - enter here for your chance to win a pair of Shoemint shoes!

Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Daliene blogs at Daliene's Alama Adventures. Daliene has a sense of style that I just love - she wears classic pieces in cute patterns and fun colors. She's currently doing the 30x30 so go cheer her on as she remixes through her closet.

And not only is she adorable, but she also consistently has me giggling at her posts (like this one! and this one because I've definitely been there)

Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Are you interested in sponsoring Franish? More information can be found here