Thursday, February 28, 2013

behind the blog: coast with me

For this week's Behind the Blog we have Rita from Coast with Me. Rita has legs that were made for skinny jeans, a closet with pieces I want so bad, and a style sense that I'm pinning constantly. I'm so happy to hear all about her blogging experiences. 

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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

save | spend | splurge: chambray popover

In recent months I've come to the realization that I really prefer pop-over button ups over traditional button ups. They are slightly more casual, there's less chance of button gaping, and I think they look better in layers. While I like my normal chambray button up, I would really like to add a popover version to my closet. I ordered the Old Navy version (in a tall like I usually do at ON) today in hopes that with a few washings and a button change it'll look just like the J.Crew version

 $17.50                                                                $78.00                                                                    $135
edit: for a review of these, and more chambray shirts, click here!

they can't put anything on the internet that isn't true

For those of you who don't know anyone who has ever applied to medical school, let me tell you - all applicants are crazy. The whole process is nerve-wrecking and terrifying and exciting and awful all at once. To compound all of this, there's a website where all of us crazies can get together and discuss the crazy. The student doc forums can either help you prepare for the process, or make you go completely mad.

Anyway, I was reading the forum for my school yesterday and about passed out when one of the kids on there said we had 14 days to get our deposits in to secure our spots. I was certain it was 30 days! OMG I'M NOT GOING TO GET TO GO TO SCHOOL, WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE HOW COULD I MESS THIS UP.


Turns out we do have 30 days. Don't trust everything you read on the internet.


Sweater: Target  {exact}
Blouse: Forever 21  {save | splurge}
Jeans: American Eagle  {exact}
Belt: Old Navy
Shoes: Tory Burch  {exact}
Watch: Fossil  {exact}
Bracelet: J. Crew  {savesame style}
Earrings: Tiffany & Co. {exact}
Nails: Essie Lapiz of Luxury & No Place Like Chrome


cheater cheater.  at least I only technically choose to re-wear these shoes once for TOPIO.

linking up with the pleated poppy.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


No, I am not drunk in these pictures as the title may suggest. About 2 hours after I took these pictures, I started to feel really really sick at work. I was having hot flashes and shaking and felt sick to my stomach, so I went home and laid in bed all day in hopes that puppy cuddles would cure me. I do feel a lot better now, but putting clothes on for 3 hours is such a waste of an outfit!


Blazer: LC Lauren Conrad  {save | splurge}
Tee: Banana Republic
Jeans: Joe's Jeans  {similar}
Scarf: Victoria's Secret
Pin: DIY by my mom
Shoes: Tory Burch  {similar}
Watch: Boccia
Nails: Essie Lapiz of Luxury & No Place Like Chrome


On Friday it was snowing pretty hard during the time I would normally take pictures, so an instagram selfie was used to document my oh so interesting and innovative outfit. I can't cheat on TOPIO! Here are all of the ladies partaking in Sarah's challenge.

Linking up with Style Elixir

Monday, February 25, 2013

twisted vlogging

So you ladies know I love a good scarf, so what's better than one? Two! Whitney from Along the Lines of Style gave me the floral scarf in December after I complimented her on it and she said she doesn't wear it - too bad we don't live closer so I can tell her I like her stuff all the time! It's a thinner scarf so I've been waiting to wear it until it warmed up but I just doubled it up with another thinner scarf and ta-da, winter scarf.

A few people have asked how I tied this scarf so I figured I'd take a note from Lynette and make a little video about it. I promise I'm as awkward in person as I am on film:

< is that the most flattering still you've ever seen? I thought so too. Maybe the next time I tape myself I won't do on a whim on a day where I have 4 day bun hair and minimal makeup on.

Sweater: Gap  {save | splurge}
Shirt: J. Crew  {exact on sale for $20 in stores}
Scarves: Forever 21 {similar}, gift from Whitney
Jeans: American Eagle  {exact on sale}
Shoes: Tory Burch  {exact}
Earrings: Tiffany & Co.  {exact}
Watch: Fossil  {similar}


The last week of TOPIO! Did you participate this month? If not...there's still this week to do it! #peerpressure #thisisnttwitter #hashtagallthethings

Saturday, February 23, 2013

february budget

1. Burberry Jacket, thrifted: $8
2. Barbour Vest, thrifted: $4
3. Ralph Lauren Oxford, thrifted: $4, $0 with Goodwill points
4. Forever 21 Lace Tee (seen here): $22
5. Nicole Boots via DSW (seen here): $110
6. J.Crew Tee (seen here): originally $45, $20 on sale
7. Blazer, thrifted & DIY altered (seen here): $8
8. Urban Outfitters Jeans: $40 with coupon code + $8 alterations
9. Christian Dior Blazer, thrifted: $8 + $25 alterations
10. Nine West Flats (seen here): $18, $0 with a Christmas giftcard from my girl Hannah

= $252

Well. I did not do that great this month. Even if I take the $25 "leftover" from last month, and the $25 I made from selling two things on eBay, I'm still about $50 over my self-established budget of $150. I do feel guilty about that because although I purchased some of these items before I found out I got into school, I didn't really try that hard to stick to my budget afterwards. My new boots are largely at fault - they're 2/3 of my entire month's budget! Besides that purchase though, I feel I found some really great deals. I found a Burberry jacket for $8, a Christian Dior Blazer for $8 (it needs to be altered around the sleeves though, so that jacks the end price up), and a Barbour vest (although I'm debating selling it on eBay as they go for around $60 on there) while thrifting. I also added ribbon piping and a new button to another thrifted blazer, so it was like a craft project/entertainment and a new clothing piece in one ;). I ordered the high-rise Urban Outfitters cigarette jeans in a size longer than my last pair so I can get them hemmed to the perfect length, so I'm really excited to have black skinny jeans again.

So in the end, I did fill a few holes in my closet with the boots and the jeans and I found some once in a lifetime thrifting finds. Like I mentioned, I'm really going to work towards saving money the next ~4 months while I'm still working. I am allowing myself $250 (around 10%) from my tax return (the rest is going straight into DO NOT TOUCH savings) to shop next weekend in Chicago. There are so many stores down there that we obviously don't have in Madison, so my goal is to find some of the following items:

- dark wash boot cut jeans, hopefully at Nordstrom Rack (like this pair, this pair, or this pair)
- tweed/boucle blazer (like this one, this one, or this one)
- Hunter rain boots (this color, this color, or this color?)
- bright floral scarf (like this, this, or this beauty)

I think having a list of things will curb my "throw money at all the stores and buy all the unneeded things" feelings I will have having that "free" money in my wallet. Hopefully I'll find a few things I'll really get some use out of. Of course, none of those items are actually necessary in the sense that food and water, and only having one pair of pants is necessary, but they are items I am hoping to add to my closet as I know I would get a lot of wear out of them, unlike some of my impulse buys in the past have.

So how did you do this month? Better than I did? Just as horrible and guilty? Link up below with budgetting bloggers! Please make sure you link back so your readers can discover and be inspired by all of the other bloggers who budget (even if they fail at it ha)

P.S. Linking up with Thrifters AnonymousRandom Wednesday, and Penniless Socialite.

Friday, February 22, 2013

wash | wear

I read somewhere once that only poor people wear the clothes they just bought right away. So rich people must either have a lot of clothes, or a lot of restraint because when I buy something new, I want to wear it right away, like my new shirt I just bought. I don't even wash most things (besides underwear and tank tops) before I wear them

...that's kind of gross actually.

So spill. Do you wash everything you buy right away, or do you wear it first? Do you have a closet full of clothes with the tags attached? Am I the only one who wants to wear a new purchase the next day?


Shirt: J. Crew  {$20 in stores!}
Blouse: H&M
Necklace: Forever 21  {exact}
Jeans: Gap  {exact}
Boots: Nicole  {exact | splurge}
Watch: Fossil  {similar}
Bracelet: Tiffany & Co.  {save | exact}

P.S. Next weekend I get to spend 36 hours with one of my favorite ladies Sam. We're meeting in Chicago for day-drinking, tipsy shopping, and deep dish eating. If you are in the Chicago area and want to meet up for dinner with us, LET US KNOW! Let's hang out. We're fun, I promise.

Linking up with Plane Pretty!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

behind the blog: lynette marie

Lynette is relatively new to blogging, but has hit the ground running with her adorable blog and style. Combine the pictures her new husband takes of her pretty face with her classic but youthful style, and you've got yourself new blog to follow. Plus she's funny, so...ok, I'll stop gushing. I'm excited to have her here this week on Behind the Blog!

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

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

not disqusing

Thank you everyone for your feedback about installing Disqus on my blog. You guys had a lot of interesting insight - many of you like the ability to receive notifications when someone responds to your comment, but many said that Disqus either spam-lists not spam comments, takes too long to load, or doesn't load at all (especially on iPads).

The majority has spoken so I'm not going to install Disqus. Although I like that you would receive an email for every replied comment, I don't want certain people not be able to comment. I do often want to reply directly to your comments though, so please make sure you aren't a no-reply commenter (it's really really easy to fix that - see instructions here). You won't receive a notification if I reply in line (on the actual blog post) but I can email you directly.

Thank you for taking the time to help me make this decision. You guys are the reason I keep up this silly hobby :)


Are you guys sick of me talking about school starting in 5 months? Me either...

But...with school starting and only working for another 4.5 months, I am really working on tucking money away. I'm putting my entire work bonus, a certain percentage of each paycheck, and the money I make from this blog into savings. I am also putting all but $250 of my tax return into savings. With those $250 I was planning on purchasing a few items from "the list". Last Friday I ordered this blazer as it was a color I was looking for, I wear my blue version all the time, and I knew what size I thought I needed. Well I received it today and it just didn't work - it was a little too tight in the shoulders and it felt too short. I think the 2% spandex in my blue version makes enough of a difference in fit that it just wasn't worth the money to keep.

So while I was returning the blazer, the sales associate convinced me I needed to look at the sale section (it took a bunch of convincing...). Another one of my items on my list is a pencil skirt. They had a lot of the black #2 pencil skirts on sale, so I tried a few on. I tried on my normal skirt/pants size, but it didn't even close. I went up one size, and it still didn't look right. Several ladies said that they sometimes have to size up two sizes. I think that's important to remember - it's not about the number on the tag but how it fits. I walked away without a skirt even though the price was good because the size they had in store wasn't going to work. I don't think I'm ready to put a bunch of money down on something I can't wear right now anyway.

What I can wear right now and in the future is this cute striped shirt, so it did come home with me :)

Shirt: Gap*
Blouse: J. Crew Factory {save | exact}
Jeans: Gap  {similar}
Scarf: c/o The Posh'mina
Boots: Steve Madden  {save | splurge}
Watch: Boccia

*I found this shirt hiding in my closet this weekend. I'm certain the last time I wore this shirt was in this picture, taken at a house party my sophomore year of college. so classy.

Linking up with wiww and Bri's Third Thursday Threads (POLKA DOTS!)

20ish days in, and no one has realized that I'm re-wearing something every day. Either I'm really good at TOPIO (not as likely) or people at work aren't paying attention (most likely).

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

double dots

Man, are my eyes staring straight into your soul or what?

OK, I'm going to be honest and say this isn't my favorite outfit of all time. This just is not working on me I think. I really love the idea of it, but it always looks like I gained 20 lbs when I wear it (which may be true after this weekend - making a carrot cake for Chris means I'm obligated to eat half of it - that's how that works, right?), and it's just a smidgen too short. I think I'm going to hang on to it in hopes that it will look better with skirts than with pants though. 

Although I'm not moving for another 4.5 months I am starting the slow process of packing, starting with my closet. Moving is the perfect opportunity to get rid of everything I don't really use -  I'm only going to take items with me that I truly wear. I started the process yesterday and realized I have 4 (FOUR) pairs of colored skinny jeans and I wear none of them because they all don't fit me. Talk about jumping on a trend even though it's not right for you, right? I love the colors, just not the fit. They, along with lots of other random pieces, will be listed on my new poshmark account. Feel free to look around and let me know if you have any questions/offers. I'll be updating periodically through the clean-up. Looking through the clothes I've purchased over the past five years, and what mistakes I've made, has been pretty humbling. It just feels like a lot of wasted money for items that aren't me, or don't fit my body. I think, for me at least, it really only reinforces the need to stick to a list of items while shopping, and hammering in that it's quality over quantity. Gahhhh, but sometimes it's just more fun to buy a bunch of shiny sparkly shirts than to save for those perfectly fitting trousers, ya know?
Blouse: J. Crew Factory  {save | exact}
Sweater: Forever 21  {similar}
Pants: Urban Outfitters*  {exact}
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington  {exact}
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs  {exact}

*um yes, these are still my old pants. I really wanted to wear them Saturday night so I willed them to stay together at the seam with some help from patches and some not so neat stitching. I'm afraid to even wash them because I'm afraid they'll just fall apart. Those new pants need to really get here soon.


10 days left of TOPIO! I'm definitely enjoying the challenge of having to think about outfits around certain pieces but at the same time it'll be nice to just wear whatever I feel like that morning...although an outfit around simple shoes isn't exactly rocket science.

Linking up with Style Elixir and Marionberry Style!

Monday, February 18, 2013


polka dot pants, pink
When I start school this fall, the way I dress will have to change. My school requires us to be in "business casual" clothing at all times on campus, which for the men means shirt and tie. The clothing for women isn't as clearly defined though. I know that blue jeans will be out of the question, so for the next couple of months I'm going to explore my options out there. Since colored skinny jeans just aren't working for me anyway, I'm really hoping that colored and patterned pants will be a way to add color into my wardrobe. I really like my polka dot pants - they fit a lot better than skinny jeans do - so I hope to find a few pairs similar to them. I'm for sure going to try these pants (one | two | three | four) as I think they would look great with a nice simple blouse and the accessories I already have. 

Do you have a favorite store when it comes to buying "dress" pants? I have never really had to buy a lot of them, so I'm starting out new here.

polka dot pants, chambray

Chambray: Old Navy  {exact | splurge}
Pants: Gap  {exact}
Scarf: Forever 21
Belt: Thrifted
Watch: Fossil  {similar}
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs  {exact}

Linking up with MoMoMod!

chambray with polka dot pants

chambray two ways

Sunday, February 17, 2013

sponsor love: momomod & just another smith

Today I want to introduce you to two fabulous ladies. Both are my two current sponsors, and both have such great style.

First up is Chandra from MoMoMod. She's a school teacher, skirt wearer (read more about that here), and all around fashionable lady. As a modest dresser she often shares her tricks on how to work within our own closets, and with what stores are providing. On top of that, she is also a master thrifter (a girl after my own heart!)

All around a great girl and blogger. She has started a new link-up called Style Showcase so make sure you visit, link up, and explore other blogs!

blog | facebook | twitter

Andi blogs at Just Another Smith. She's a fellow TOPIO- challenge accepter although she was smarter and is taking 1 item from an outfit a week ago to remix. Her wardrobe is filled with bright colors and fun patterns, so I have a lot to learn from her. Besides fashion, Andi also blogs about books, things happening in her life, and who her celebrity doppelganger is (go read for a good LOL). Please go say hi and cheer her on during the month of TOPIO!

blog | twitter

Are you interested in sponsoring Franish? You can find more information here!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

to disqus or not to disqus

I've been going back and forth about trying to decide if I want to enable disqus comments again on my blog. I had them for a while, and then removed them. In the end, for me commenting is about having a discussion, and that discussion is with you, so I need your input! Here are my thoughts on Disqus:

- We can communicate better. There aren't any "no-reply" commenters, I can respond directly to you in line and you will receive an email, and everyone else can see the reply as well. You can't do that with blogger comments - if I reply in line you won't receive a notification, and if you leave an email address, no one else sees the reply.
- You can see what other blogs people comment on, and discover new blogs (although this may be a con for some people)

- Some people don't have a Disqus profile and may not comment
- Some profiles are not set up correctly, so I can't find other people's blogs
- It takes a few seconds longer to load
- Doesn't always work on the mobile layout

So what are your thoughts? Do you love Disqus as a blogger? Prefer not to use Disqus as a commenter? Please cast your vote or let me know your thoughts!

Friday, February 15, 2013

on blogging etiquette

While blogging has been around for many years now, in most cases it is still a new arena of communication, journalism, and hobby. There aren't any hard and fast rules about what we put on our blogs, in our pictures, or in our links. Because there isn't anyone policing us and putting our blog posts into that website our professors in college used to make sure we weren't plagiarizing our midterm papers, it's up to us as a community to police ourselves.

The thing I truly love the most about blogging is all of the inspiration, advice, and suggestions I receive from fellow bloggers and readers. If it wasn't for Bri, I would never have learned the more layers, less frump trick and I would still be trying to figure out how to layer sweaters. If it wasn't for Kelly, I would have been stuck on what to wear for my third day of TOPIO. If it wasn't for Audrey, I wouldn't have my new favorite t-shirt. There are countless other instances where I was inspired by one of you and I never want to take credit for your creativity and claim it as my own. I always try to pin from the original source, and if I use your picture on my blog, I try my hardest to find the original source. If I see a cute outfit or item on your blog, and recreate or buy it, I always try to credit you. Why? Because that's the polite way to blog.

The majority of us all shop in the same sort of stores - mass produced clothing from the mall. Of course we throw in our thrift finds, our hand-me-downs, and our vintage items, but in general our clothes all are pretty similar. How does one find their own style when we are all presented with the same items? How can you even not be a copy cat when we all basically have the same things to pick from? There isn't an easy answer, but I do know that there is a very strong and hard line between the coincidence of having the same article of clothing as another, and continually and systematically hunting down pieces that another blogger has. The point of fashion blogging (I use the term fashion blog here loosely because most of us fall under personal style blogging) is to show yourself, your cute outfit, and your general point of view. Blogging is for working on yourself, on how you dress yourself, and how you present yourself to the world. The point is to show you, not the blogger down the internet street.

You may be asking yourself why I'm even blogging about this. Like I said, I think as a community we have to police ourselves. There isn't a professor here to flunk us when we are caught copying someone else's work. When one blogger copies another blogger for years and years, our community has to take a stand against it. I don't want to be a faceless voice on the internet gossiping about blatant plagiarism of a blogger who has put a lot of time and effort into their blog. I want to present you with what I would consider to be the worst part about our blogging community.

Be inspired by others, don't try to be them.

turn a t-shirt into a scarf

mustard, pinks, lace
The other day I joked about wearing my scarf as a skirt as a way to try to branch out during TOPIO. While Heidi tried to convince me it can be done (see her attempt here), I was intrigued when Kate suggested I wear the shirt as a scarf. I really can't tell if she was joking, but it did get me thinking...could I do that?

Turns out I can. Today at work Emily stopped me mid work-related conversation to say, "Oh. My. God. Where is that scarf from?!!"

So if my most fashionable friend was fooled, I feel anyone could be fooled by this little trick.

turn a tee into a scarf
take tee  |  grab furthest apart pieces
tie with hair band  |  fluff

mustard, pink, lace
In other news, I was searching on the Urban Outfitters site this morning in a fit of black jean desperation. They are currently have a sale on all of their BDG jeans, so even though my favorite pair of jeans isn't available in my size, I'm hoping that this pair works just as well. If you looking into trying the BDG jeans, now would be a good time as they are about $20 less than they are normally!

lace, pink, mustard
Cardigan: Thrifted  {save | splurge}
Chambray: Old Navy  {exact}
Shirt as Scarf: Forever 21  {exact}
Jeans: American Eagle  {exact}
Belt: Gap
Earrings: Tiffany & Co.  {exact}
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington  {exact}
Shoes: Tory Burch  {save | exact}

mustard, pink

interesting techniques : interesting faces

linking up with plane pretty!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

behind the blog: dash dot dotty

I'm really excited about this week's Behind the Blog. Dotty blogs at Dash Dot Dotty about her daily style and her work outfits. She has the gift of always looking effortlessly chic and pulled together, yet youthful and fun. The way she puts her blog together is adorable - I always enjoy looking at what she has going on!

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

adding piping to a blazer


If you follow me on instagram, you are already sick of seeing this blazer but I appreciate you all sticking around ;) I bought this blazer last week at Goodwill, and while I really like the color and fit, it was a tad...boring. I was itching  to do some sort of project, so I decided to add ribbon piping to this blazer.

by hand.

(because how else would one do this? please don't answer that question or else I'm afraid I'll go throw myself against a wall)

I was first debating doing leopard or a gold patterned ribbon, but some fellow bloggers brought me back to my senses. Leopard would have been fun, but cream is a lot more versatile.

It only took me one SNL episode (with the Biebs...shudder), the Grammys (red carpet and show), and one episode of the RHOBH to finish it. With Christopher on another away rotation, only quality television is watched at our house. So it did take me a while, but I'm thrilled with the outcome. 

sew ribbon on as piping

I used a 7/8 inch ribbon purchased at JoAnn's Fabric Store for about $2.50 (if you have one near you make sure you download their app - they always have 40% off coupons, sometimes 50% off!). I ironed it (with my hair straightener...) in half. I used a binder clip to keep the ribbon in place, and then just stitched down the line. I also replaced the button with a gold button, also purchased at JoAnns. Overall, this blazer + revamp cost me about $11. Not to shabby, especially with this similar blazer costing 8 times as much.

green, gold, cognac

piped blazer, cognac, leopard

Blazer: Thrifted, altered  {similar}
Shirt: Forever 21  {exact}
Jeans: American Eagle  {exact}
Belt: Aeropostale?
Necklace: Forever 21  {similar}
Bag: Madewell  {exact}
Watch: Target
Shoes: Rocket Dog via DSW  {exact}

green blazer, lace shirt, gold watch

...a total cop out for TOPIO, but I was just too excited to wear this blazer to wait.

linking up with thrifters anonymous!