Tuesday, April 30, 2013

mismatched leathers

DSC05054 Is the fact that my purse and belt match, but my shoes don't, driving you crazy? I didn't even notice how much they aren't the same color until I looked at these pictures. Yikes! To be honest, these shoes are also looking to be replaced, or at least I need to add a pair in a darker leather to put into the rotation to give these a break. Cognac is one of my closet neutrals though, so a simple flat such as these Clarks, these Fryes, or these Steve Maddens would get a lot of wear. I think a simple ballet flat will also help some of my looks not be so old man.

but like...cute old man, right? 
Blouse: Calvin Klein Outlet [similar]
Jeans: Joe's Jeans [same style]
Scarf: Target [exact]
Shoes: Crown Vintage [similar]
Bag: Madewell [exact]
Watch: gift from my sister [similar]
Nails: Essie Lapiz of Luxury
of course I'm linking up with Heidi and Marissa for their pantone challenge!
literate & stylish

Monday, April 29, 2013

playing favorites

DSC05007 I think I have fallen madly in love with this Gap shirt. I'm not one to choose favorites with my clothes (I want to love all of them equally!) but I wore it on Friday, and then again on Saturday. I think popovers/button up tunics are my favorite of all the types of shirts, as evidenced by this, this, and this purchase. What can I say, I'm loyal! I like that it can be both more dressy (because of the collar and buttons) but also casual when worn untucked, or with a fun scarf. 

Plus sometimes you don't have to iron them if you are going for that more casual vibe ;)
Blouse: Gap [exact]
Jeans: American Eagle [exact]
Scarf: Forever 21 [save for under $10 | splurge]
Belt: Gap [similar]
Purse: Madewell [exact]
Shoes: Crown Vintage [save | splurge]
Watch: Fossil [similar]
Earrings: Tiffany & Co. [exact]
Rings: Galisfly [exact]
Nails: Color Club Age of Aquarius 
P.S. I really wanted to participate in the Pantone-inspired challenge today but I realized I don't own anything emerald. I've actually wanted an emerald scarf for several months now, so I went looking for one in the mall last Thursday but didn't find one anywhere! If I don't find one this weekend in Minneapolis, I may look for one on etsy. This one is adorable, and this one is simple but the exact color I want.

P.P.S. Have you entered both giveaways going on right now? You can enter to win a scarf/clutch here and a $50 Gap card here. Good luck!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

sponsor love: tea & sequins + gap giveaway

Today I'd like to introduce you to Kaitlin who blogs at Tea & Sequins. Kaitlin is currently finishing her masters in Occupational Therapy (smarty pants!) and started blogging as a creative outlet during her clinicals. Kaitlin is a taller lady like me, so I really enjoy seeing what she buys and how it fits her body. I think her style is just so cute, and something I really relate to. Girlfriend has some adorable clothes in her closet! You can find Kaitlin here:

Kaitlin is giving away a $50 giftcard to the Gap. Just enter the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 27, 2013

april budget

  1. Gap Pique Academy Blazer, originally $88, on sale for $54: I haven't actually received this blazer yet, so I don't have much to say about it other than I really really want it to work. I first saw it on Kendi, and then on Anne, and just feel in love with it. I didn't want to pay full price for it (which is the complete opposite when it came to this blazer. I have no reasons why this is) so I was happy to get it for $54. It is currently on sale for under $50 with this weekend's 40% sale items promotion going on if you are interested! I'll keep you updated on if it works - I ordered it in a tall so I'm not sure how it will fit. I think it's the colorful blazer I wanted from the floral blazer, but in a style that will be a LOT more versatile.
  2. Gap Round Belt, originally $40 + 30% off = $28: I also haven't received this belt but I've felt it up every time this month I've gone into the Gap. I should have actually tried it on, but I took a chance ordering it online and hope it works out. From the pictures and from looking at it in real life, it is exactly what I was looking for when I said I wanted a nice brown leather belt. Fingers crossed!
  3. J.Crew Factory Linen Cotton Mini [seen here], originally $70 + 50% off = $35: I have six full weeks off this summer which means: FREEDOM FOR MY LEGS. No safety regulations and no dress code means I can wear whatever I want, and what I wanted to wear is this skirt. It is really comfortable and an easy way to dress up a casual look. 
  4. BDG High Waisted Cigerette Jeans, originally $60, on sale for $15: These jeans are my absolute favorite jeans. I was pretty upset a few months ago when I finally wore through my mid-rise pair, and then those were sold out so I got the high rise just to test it out, and I ended up liking those even more! They do a really great job of smoothing out the belly area, they are super comfortable, and ordering them longer means I could get them hemmed to the exact length I wanted. When I saw that these were being sold for $15, I immediately ordered a second pair. Because my normal size was no longer available during this selling out period, I ordered a size up which I think works out well. They are just a bit looser in the calves. I plan on hemming these just a little bit longer too, so I'm hoping I can wear them to school as they are "pants" and not jeans ;)
  5. Gap Printed Tunic, originally $55 + 30% off = $38.50: I tried this shirt out on a whim and ended up really liking it. I originally purchased it in store for $45 because I had a $10 reward, but then I when I went to go order the blazer and belt, I ordered it as well to get it another $7 cheaper. I plan to do a switch around with returns since I have already worn this shirt (and LOVED it - see it here).
  6. J.Crew Factory Tee, originally $26 + 50% off = $13: I don't have a lot of short sleeved shirts, I liked this color, and it was relatively cheap. 
  7. Banana Republic Engineered Tee [seen here], originally $45, on sale for $14: I ended up combining a few promotion codes to get this purchase down to less than $14. I (obviously) really like stripes, and I know that this light grey/white combo will get a lot of wear. Banana Republic is currently having a 35% off online special which would bring this shirt down to just over $14 if you are interested in it. I do a bit more of a review on it here.
= $198 - $110 worth of clothing sold = $88**

Not too shabby this month! If I end up keeping both the blazer and the belt, I will still be $60 under budget "technically". Last month I said I wanted to do a bit less shopping, and I think I did a pretty good job sticking to that goal. I made a few other purchases this month from my school wardrobe fund, but I will write a separate post on the progress on that in a few weeks. Overall, I feel good about the pieces I purchased.

Next weekend Chris and I are going to the Twin Cities to have a little weekend getaway. We are going to the Mall of America, so I'm excited to get to some stores that we don't have here. I plan on "rolling over" money from this month (so at least $60, maybe more if I return either of those items) into next month's budget. I am really hoping I find some jeans at Nordstrom Rack (we don't have one in Wisconsin), an emerald scarf, and some nude ballet flats (similar to this pair), or maybe even a low wedge (like this pair - safety regulations be damned!....kidding. kind of). Other than that, I don't have any big needs in my closet right now. 

How did you do this month? If you are interested, please feel free to add a link to your spending recap below. I ask that you please link back to this post so that your readers can read about other budgetting bloggers. You guys all inspire me every month with your dedication to looking great on a budget, so I want your readers to be able to feel the same way.

EDIT: I went to the mall today to do a bit of birthday shopping with my sister, and I ended up finding the round belt in a bit of a lighter color on final sale + 40% off for $7. I also bought these leopard loafers for $18, so my overall money spent didn't change since I'll be returning the darker brown belt that was $28. I'm pretty excited about both finds!

Friday, April 26, 2013

a light jacket

DSC04954Yesterday was April 25th, and as well know, it is the perfect date. My "light jacket" was purchased in November when I was in Germany, but I have only had a chance to wear it once since then so I was actually pretty excited to finally be able to wear it. It wasn't too hot or too cold out ;)

In the past I've been somewhat of a jacket hoarder. I kept buying new ones because I wasn't satisfied with the old ones, but the new ones weren't that great either. I really want to end that cycle though. With this move coming up, I'm getting rid of everything that isn't something I actually like anymore, which includes a lot of my old jackets. I think in the end I'll only be taking 4 jackets with me (this one, my Burberry coat, my Banana Republic trench coat, and my thick heavy duty winter coat). I'll need a nice "professional" winter jacket sometime in the fall, and then I should be set on jackets for a really long time.

Not that winter jackets are something I need to be thinking about in April, but ya know...just planning ahead....talking myself through the process of packing up my life and moving three states away.
Jacket: from Germany [save | spend | awesome splurge]
Blouse: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Scarf: Victoria's Secret
Jeans: American Eagle [exact]
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs [exact]
Earrings: Tiffany & Co. [exact]
Bracelets: Forever 21
Watch: Fossil [similar]
Nail Polish: Color Club Age of Aquarius
Ring: Galisfly [exact]

P.S. It's a great weekend for sales!
Tory Burch's Friends and Family Sale is going on (Code TBSPRING)
Loft is having a flash sale this morning = $50 off a purchase of $100+ full priced items (Code FLASHSALE)
+ J.Crew Factory is having another 50% off everything in store event like they did a few weeks ago when I get this skirt (which it's obviously still too cold for but I know will be a staple for my time off this summer)
+ Gap is having 40% off already reduced items (Code GAPSALE). I ordered this blazer yesterday during the 30% off everything.

P.P.S and in case you were debating blowing all your money, budgetting bloggers is going up tomorrow to remind you to be responsible :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

smart purchase or impulse buy?

I feel really guilty about this.

I purchased my floral blazer last week somewhat on a whim. I saw it around on a few blogs and just thought it was so beautiful... and so I bought it. For a $100 purchase, it wasn't something I thought about a lot. I didn't think about the cost per wear, I didn't think about how much I would actually wear it, I didn't think about the pieces that I've wanted for so long - all I thought was OH PRETTY GIMME.

And then I got it and I liked it but there were some nagging feelings. The colors were bright, and even though I liked the idea of adding something so colorful to my closet, I knew it would be limiting. I usually prefer blazers that have two buttons, and this one only had one. The shoulders were more padded than I was used to, and while that is figure flattering, it had me a bit worried.


So yes, the blazer is pretty and I was really excited to wear it, but then I thought about it some more, and the purchase just doesn't align with what I'm trying to do with my closet. Especially with school starting, and all of the "challenges" that will come with that, I want pieces in my closet that I feel confident in, and that I will get a ton of wear out of. Was spending two thirds of my monthly budget on an uncertain purchase a smart decision for now, and for the future? Probably not.

So it's going back. I know it is somewhat frowned upon to wear something, and then return it. In my defense, I only wore it for a few hours at work so it wasn't something I had on me for 16+ hours. It's going back, and then I will forget about that pretty blazer and focus on a smarter purchase - that camel blazer that I've been looking for for so long. For some reason it has been really difficult to find one right now. Granted, April probably isn't the best time to look for one but I will keep my eyes open for one now and come the fall when I am looking for something quick to throw on, I won't think about that pretty floral blazer and instead be grateful for my very versatile camel blazer.

or I'll just get this polka dot blazer because LOOK AT IT - pretty! ;)

behind the blog: jeans and a teacup

This week for Behind the Blog we have Jessica from Jeans and a Teacup. Jessica writes the blog with her sister, and is known for the fashion side of the blog. She lives in sunny California where she works as a movie extra (isn't that so cool?!). I love her fresh and clean style and I know you will too!

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

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

how to look like a wrinkled mess

DSC04920 Step 1: iron your bottom layer shirt 
Step 2: don't iron your sweater and make sure you wear it a size too large for extra wrinkles

Sweater: Target [very similar]
Blouse: Gap [exact]
Jeans: Joe's Jeans [same style]
Earrings: Tiffany & Co. [exact]
Necklace: Express [interesting option]
Watch: Fossil [very similar]
Shoes: Nine West [similar]

sponsor love: oh, she dabbles + giveaway

Today's sponsor love post is about a girl close to my blogging heart. C blogs at Oh, She Dabbles about her daily fashion, art, and travels. We've been blogging friends since just about the beginning of our blogs so I'm really excited to show her off today. She's an elementary school teacher which means her outfits are always work appropriate, but so cute. My favorite outfits of hers are ones with dresses and skinny jeans just because I am so envious of her great legs - seriously, look how nice they are! She's also one smart shopper, and actively participates in Budgetting Bloggers, but with a twist - she tries to only thrift her clothes to put money away for a house, which I think is an admirable goal. You can find C here:

To celebrate the one year anniversary of Oh, She Dabbles, C is holding a giveaway on her blog to win two amazing pieces she made herself:  one circle scarf made out of Liberty of London cotton lawn (which is incredibly similar to this J.Crew scarf going for almost $120) and one envelope clutch made out of burlap with a hint of gold woven in, lined in coral chevron with a hidden magnetic closure. This is one giveaway I'm really sad I can't enter because both pieces are beautiful. Just use the rafflecopter below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you interested in sponsoring Franish? You can find more information here. Thank you for supporting those who support me.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


DSC04871A year ago I said that I don't really do florals. Isn't it funny where I am a year later, happily wearing a bright floral blazer? Okay, this blazer is still a bit out of the comfort zone, but I think it'll be a really fun piece to own. The shoulders are a bit more padded than any of my other blazers, but I was told it makes your waist look smaller so you girls on instagram better not be lying to me! 

Like I mentioned last week, blogging isn't changing my style but I do think it's pushing me to try new things. Is there something a year ago you thought you wouldn't wear? Besides florals I really didn't think I'd be wearing skinny jeans as much as I do. They're just so dang comfortable!
Blazer: Zara [save | exact]
Tee: Fruit of the Loom*
Jeans: American Eagle [exact]
Shoes: Crown Vintage [save | awesome "Cat" splurge]
Necklace: gift from Kimmie
Watch: Kate Spad [exact]
Nails: Color Club Age of Aquarius

*I'm pretty sure I used to work out in this tee. I really need to go find a non sweated on replacement. I've tried on a few so far, including this J.Crew Factory Version, this J.Crew version, and this Gap version but I'm not really thrilled about any of them. The search continues...
Looking for more ideas on how to wear a blazer like this? AJ and I have the same one, and she wore it yesterday and looked SO CUTE.

P.S. Heidi and Marissa are holding a Pantone-Spring Color Challenge next week. I know many of you enjoyed the 5 Days, 5 Ways Challenge Whitney and I held, and I think this one will be just as fun so if you are looking for another blogging challenge (who isn't, amiright?) I hope you join them! I'm already excited to see what everyone comes up with.

Monday, April 22, 2013


DSC04866 You may have already seen me complain about this on twitter, but this weekend was somewhat of a dud. With Chris being gone I've lost that built in person to go do things with, and I'm getting to the point where I'm sick of going out and doing everything by myself. wah wah, life is so tough!

But I did spend most of the weekend on my couch. I ate about 4 omelets (they were delicious), and watched the whole first season of Homeland. Living the dream! Maybe next weekend I'll actually go outside and enjoy the springtime. Or watch season 2. 
Blazer: Old Navy [save | splurge]
Shirt: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Jeans: Urban Outfitters [exact on super sale]
Earrings: Tiffany & Co. [exact]
Watch: Fossil [exact]
Necklace: Gift from Whitney
Shoes: Rocket Dog [similar]

Friday, April 19, 2013

rain or shine

DSC04796Chris has a habit of not wanting to spend money on certain items, but then stealing mine in situations where he wants one. Besides face wash and individually packed desserts, this mostly applies to umbrellas. I had this great black umbrella that I used for years...until he stole it this year for all of his away rotations leaving me without one. SO RUDE. In his defense, he does have a lot more walking in his commute than I do. It's been raining so much here lately though that I do need a new one. As I was looking through the J.Crew sale section last weekend, this bright (and girly!!) umbrella stood out to me. I would never spend almost $30 on a simple umbrella but with 30% off the sale price, it ended up costing me just under $10. I'm not one to just to buy something at J.Crew because of the name, but I figured the bright print would deter Chris from stealing it. 

Plus it does brighten up the gloominess :)
Trench: Banana Republic [current season]
Blouse: Calvin Klein Outlet [similar]
Jeans: Urban Outfitters [exact on super sale]
Scarf: Target
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]
Boots: Hunter [exact]

Thursday, April 18, 2013

behind the blog: franish

This coming Monday will mark the one year anniversary of me starting my blog so I figured it would be fitting for today's Behind the Blog to be about...me. So here I am...interviewing myself.
Tell us what motivated you to start blogging. Were you following a lot of personal style/fashion blogs before you started blogging?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

how do you define your style?

DSC04713I really liked this outfit today -it just felt very me...but what is "me"? I always have a hard time pinpointing what my "style" is. I think I'm a bit preppy, a bit classic, a bit masculine-inspired with a feminine touch, a bit rough around the edges... but that's all a mouth full, isn't it? I know what I like and I tend to buy similar style pieces again and again because I know it works - like this oxford popover. It's a bit classic but also a bit more casual, inspired by men but with a girly touch. Does that mean I have my taste figured out and I just struggle with the words? 

Can you pinpoint your style or are you complex like I am? ;) 
Shirt: J.Crew [exact]
Jeans: American Eagle [exact]
Necklace: Forever 21 [save | splurge]
Watch: Fossil [similar]
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs [exact]

Linking up with mix and match fashion!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


DSC04706 So this is the first time I've worn these pants "in real life". They've been in my take-to-the-tailor pile since I purchased them because they need to be taken in at the waist, but I wanted to wear them for Bri's upcoming Third Thursday Threads (floral, duh) so I decided to do the old pull-up-and-cinch. Boy was that a mistake. I was pulling up my pants all day and it just created all this unnecessary bunching. I need to stop being lazy and just take them in to be fixed. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this. 

To quote my friend Lizzi....looking for a friend here.
Pants: Target [save | splurge]
Blazer: Thrifted
Tee: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Necklace: Forever 21 [exact]
Watch: Fossil [similar]
Earrings: Tiffany & Co. [exact]
Shoes: Tory Burch [exact]
linking up with wiww.