Sunday, June 30, 2013


Yesterday was our last full day in Germany. We spent it in Stade, a little city on the Elbe River, which is my dad's hometown. My grandma still lives in the house my dad and uncle grew up in, and it's the place of most of my childhood German memories - lots of birthday parties, several Christmas, and summer stays. My sister and I spent part of the morning walking around, doing just a little bit of shopping, eating pastries, listening to an organist play on the organ my dad played on in his youth, and enjoying the semi-warm weather. Of course not even close to warm enough to actually wear any of the other clothes I brought ;)

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^ cute right? so much brick, so much ivy, so much pretty
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^my sister bought this vintage YSL trench in Paris. I'm so jealous. Extra motivation to sell all of my clothes to buy this jacket.
^ I'm obsessed with the store signs. A UNICORN. for a pharmacy!
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Jacket: Hof in Germany [similar]
Scarf: Victoria's Secret
Pants: Urban Outfitters [exact]
Shoes: Old Navy 
Purse: Coach via Etsy [current]

Now I'm back in Wisconsin for the next five days. On Tuesday I have my super fun appointment with immigration services to update my greencard, and immediately afterwards we're packing up the pups to go to a little secluded cabin about an hour away, where we're staying until I leave for Seattle on Friday. No time to be bored I suppose!

Friday, June 28, 2013

ab nach kiel und stade

After leaving Munich on Monday, I stayed in Göttingen with my aunt and uncle until Wednesday morning. We used this time really just to hang out, give my sister a little hair cut, and play fetch with the dog. I lived with my aunt and uncle in eighth grade when my parents wanted me to go to school in Germany for a year, so I always love being back in their house. We didn't go into the city at all because Tuesday is when the jet lag finally hit, which is why I somehow ended up staying up until almost three in the morning.
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On Wednesday I took the train up to Stade where my grandma lives. My dad and I drove up to Kiel, which is my mom's hometown. My parents met there when they were both in medical school, and it's also where my sister and I were born. My grandfather was a German Navy Admiral, so the sea has always been something close to our family. Kiel is a huge port city with a history rich in naval activity and ship building and each year they have a huge city fest known as Kieler Woche, which is the largest sailing event in the world. We stayed with my father's frat brother (we stayed with him last time too!) and met up with a ton of his other frat brothers, many whom he hadn't seen in decades. The weather unfortunately wasn't that great, and therefore there weren't that many sail boats out, but the rowing competition was going on (which my dad used to take part in in the 80's).
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Jacket: Hof in Germany [adorable save | splurge]
Blouse: Gap [exact]
Scarf: Forever 21
Jeans: Urban Outfitters [exact]
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During the 1972 Olympics (which is unfortunately known for the Munich massacre), Kiel was the site for the sailing competitions. 
Today we are celebrating my grandma's 83rd birthday. My grandparents share the same birthday, except they were born one year apart. My grandpa unfortunately died my freshman year of college, so he hasn't been with us know for more than half a decade, which is felt by everyone. Their wedding anniversary was also right around this time, and my grandpa used to get my grandma a bouquet of roses for the number of years they were married. My dad and uncle have now taken over that role.
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^^my dad made all of these from scratch when he was a super cool teenager ;)
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I wanted to wear my blue polka dot dress, but it's way too cold so black jeans it is...
Blazer: thrifted
Tee: Everlane
Jeans: Urban Outfitters...still [exact]
Necklace: c/o Apple of My Eye - win here!
Shoes: Tory Burch [exact]
Nails: Essie Park Avenue 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

june budget

1. Gap Swiss Dot Henley [seen here] - originally $55, on sale/discount for $33: I purchased this shirt as a way to get free shipping, but also because I was a little bit interested in after seeing it hanging in stores. I really liked it when I first tried it on, and when I wore it a few days ago, but then throughout the day I was getting a bit annoyed with it - it fits me well in the shoulders/arms but is way too loose in the waist. I think I'm going to take in the sides like I have with my chambray popover and polka dot popover so it gives a bit more definition, something someone with my figure desperately needs.

2. Target Sandals [seen here] - $20

3. Old Navy shorts - on sale for $7, with giftcard $0

4. Tabita Skirt via eBay [seen here] - $20

5. J.Crew Factory Shorts [seen here]: on sale for $20

6. Old Navy shorts [seen here]- on sale for $7, with gift card $5: rounding out the shorts purchases of the month as inspired by Whitney.

7. Gap Dress - on sale/promotion for $33: This was the dress I purchased with my set aside money for a dress I can wear for several different occasions so really it's $0 in the budget. I ended up getting it online for half the price it was going for in stores. I wore it to a birthday party this past weekend but I was constantly tugging at the slip inside - it barely covered my butt so I always felt like I was showing the good China even though everything was covered. I think I need to invest in a good slip anyway, so this is a perfect reason to get one.

Not pictured: Gap Outlet shorts ($20), J.Crew Factory Skirt ($20), Banana Factory Top ($20), Gap Outlet Sandals ($10), Forever 21 Scarf ($10), Thrifted Red Skirt ($4), Thrifted J.Crew Blazer ($4)

= $178 - $80 sold = $98 overall

Although I've spent half of the month not at work, and therefore more time with opportunities to go spend money, I did very well this month when it comes to my budget! There are several reasons for that - I felt I needed to hold on to my money a little tighter now that I don't have any income until I receive my student loan money in August, I did a ton of window shopping but not much felt good on, and I was lucky enough to receive a few nice pieces from sponsors and through Everlane credits that that "need" of wanting something new went away.

For July I plan on rolling over that extra money as I will be in Seattle for the first part of the month and plan on doing some shopping/damage with Kimmie, Bri, and Katrina. I don't have many items I'm really on the hunt for (except I'm still waiting for my black pants for school to come back in my size at Banana Republic) so I'll just go into it with an open mind although I would like to add a special piece or two now that I'm pretty set on basics. I also have my $100 giftcard I won from the Chippmunk contest (huge congrats to Kimmie for winning the grand prize! Of course I would have loved to win, but Kimmie is on such a tight budget every year that I know she'll get a ton of use out of it, plus having a close friend win is almost just as good) that I choose to get from J.Crew so I can specifically order this blazer that I've been eyeing for months now! You know what it'll look good with? EVERYTHING


Anyway, how did it all go down for you this month? Great? Poorly? WHAT BUDGET?! Link up below with the other budgeting bloggers! Please make sure you link back to this post so that your readers can find other great bloggers to read and follow.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


So after two days of family gatherings and beer garden adventures, my aunt, my sister, and I spent a few hours in down town Munich. I was really excited to look around because I haven't been down here in years and years, and I don't think I've ever been downtown. We only had a few hours of time before we had to drive back to my aunt's home 5 hours away, but I really wish that we could have spent more time in the city. There's just so much to see, do, learn, and eat, but with limited time we hit up the big sights.

We started out in the Viktualienmarkt, which is like a permanent outside market full of fresh cheeses, meats, fruits, vegetables, and flowers. We ended up with most of those in our shopping bags - flowers, cherries, dried apples, and schmalznudelen (which are kind of like a combination of funnel cake and thin donuts).
the May Pole
Above is a picture of the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) viewed from the Market side. The building is from the 14th century - isn't it crazy that something built that long ago still stands today? This is obviously common place in Europe, but living in the Midwest for most of my life, it always surprises me, no matter how often I am over here. Anyway, it stands in the Marienplatz, which is where we wondered over to next.

Monday, June 24, 2013

viel zu viel

Greetings from Munich! We finally arrived on Saturday after several delays, re-booked flights, and some lost luggage (although thankfully it wasn't mine this time!...sorry dad). We have been visiting with family the last three days, celebrating my dad's cousin's 50th birthday, spending lots of time in beer gardens, and visiting distant relatives. We haven't really done much besides eating, drinking beer and coffee, and retelling the same stories a hundred times :)

Now we're off to see a bit of the city just for a few hours before we drive up to Goettingen, where my aunt and uncle live, where I went to school, and where my sister now goes to school. I promise more interesting pictures, less swollen feet, and more cute dogs pictures in the future. I'll be posting on instagram when I get wi-fi every once in a while if you want to follow along!
Shirt: Gap [exact]
Jeans: American Eagle [exact]
Belt: Gap [same style]
Shoes: Gap Outlet [similar]
so swollen :(  cute dog though!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

packing for germany

The last time I went to Germany, several people asked about how I pack for when I travel. I figured this time would be a good as time as any to do that! This isn't really an advice post since I'm a pretty infrequent traveler, but more of an insight to how I do it. When I travel to Germany, it's a bit different than most visitors because I stay and travel with my family the entire time. That means I can bring a bit more with me since it's not as much of a problem to get the luggage from one place to another. Besides my large suitcase which gets checked in, I also bring a smaller carry on suitcase that holds all the items I was asked to bring over - mostly quilting supplies for my aunt and candy for my sister. For this trip, I am also putting a dress and heels into this carry on because we are going to a party pretty much as soon as we get off the plane, so I want to have it with me in case my luggage doesn't make it right away. I also keep my jewelry in the carry on suitcase because although it's not monetarily that valuable, it means a lot to me. As far as clothes packing goes, I know it would be smart to prepare outfits for each day, but the weather next week is looking pretty unpredictable, and I'm lazy, so I really just throw in all my favorite clothes and hope something comes out of it. There are of course a few outfits planned since there are several birthday parties, but other than that I just kind of wing it. 

OK! So here's what I'm wearing on the plane. Comfortable, easy to layer/unlayer, and easy for getting through security. 
 Everlane Sweatshirt | J.Crew Factory Tee | F21 Scarf | Fossil Watch | UO Jeans | Revas

 My purse - old magazines that haven't been read, my ginormous wallet that also acts as a passport holder, bag for chargers/headphones, necessary makeup and lotion bag (again in case my big suitcase doesn't arrive right away), my macbook, iPad (with the new Dan Brown book I'm super excited to read) and my iPhone because I didn't think I had enough Apple products packed.

 Gap Dress | Vintage Dress via Goodwill | Target Dress
Black Blazer | Cargo Jacket | thrifted cardi | ON cardi | Gap Popover | Gap Popover | J.Crew Factory popover | J.Crew tee | Everlane tees | Banana Republic Factory Tee
 Limited Heels | Revas | ON flats | running shoes | Havianas | Target Sandals | Gap Outlet Sandals
 various accesssories
and boring running clothes and pajamas.

Ta da!! :)

linking up with just jacq!

Friday, June 21, 2013

a day in chicago + apple of my eye jewelry giveaway!

coach willis purse, vintage willis purse, target elba wedges, target elba shoes 
This is all from my second day in Chicago. I went down to visit my friend Ben, a close friend from college - we were in the marching band together and have stayed close since he moved down to Chicago three years ago. He is one of the most talented people I know, and we always have so much fun together. We spent the second day having breakfast at Milk & Honey (we both had the lemon almond pancakes), walking around Wicker Park, looking through vintage shops in Andersonville, and finally ended up down by the water, which also happens to be a dog park. All around, it really was the perfect day (until I had to drive through 62 miles of construction to get home).
As far as what I wore....I thought I packed my new Gap shorts but accidentally packed my old ones, so they are getting one last hurrah until they are put away for "only in the house" wear. The shirt is a sleeveless shirt that I picked up from the Banana Republic Factory store. I wanted something I could wear when it gets hot out, but wasn't thin strapped. This shirt is great because I can wear it without needing to wear a tank underneath it because once it gets to be 85+, I want as little stuck to me as possible. It wasn't quite that hot this day, and I even wore my cardigan most of the time, but I'm glad I have the option of not wearing it. In the past, I haven't really been into gold jewelry that much but something about wannabe tan skin makes me want to wear more of it. Apple of My Eye Jewelry provided me with this bracelet recently and I really haven't stopped wearing and playing with it. They also gave me this necklace and luckily, one of you will get the chance to win the same two pieces below!

As far as my shoes goes, thank you to all of your help on instagram about whether or not to keep them. I picked them up a few weeks ago, but hadn't worn them yet because I wanted to keep my options open. I had some Everlane credits, so I ordered their new sandals to test out. I wish I could combine the two shoes. As far as the Everlane ones go, I like the top straps, but I was not a fan of the strap by the toes - I wish it was thicker. The sole is also pretty hard and I feel it would hurt to walk on. Of course I liked that they were genuine leather and made in the US, but you know that I would never pay $110 out of pocket so I just could not justify keeping them because they aren't exactly what I want. I really like the style of the Target ones - they are pretty minimal, the sole had some padding so they don't hurt to walk around on, and of course the price doesn't hurt. I really do try to avoid Target shoes because they usually have that plastic-y sole which means instant foot sweat, but these have more of a faux leather sole and so they weren't uncomfortably hot. I did experience some rubbing around the ankle as I'm not used to having a strap there, but that stopped bothering me after about an hour. Overall, I'm happy with them and am excited to wear them this summer.
Shirt: Banana Republic Factory
Cardigan: Old Navy
Shorts: older than old
Purse: Coach [current version]
Watch: Target [similar]
Bracelet: c/o Apple of My Eye Jewelry [exact]
Ring: Jewelmint [exact]
Shoes: Target [exact]

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 20, 2013

help me! Chippmunk Expert Shopper Grand Prize

First of all, I really want to thank all of you who allowed me to beg you for voting for me for the Chippmunk Expert Shopper Competition. I was one of the top five finalists! I'm so thankful for how supportive you all are. I know it gets tedious constantly being asked to click on things for other people but I really really appreciate it :)

So because I was in the top five, I now get to compete for the grand prize - a $250 giftcard! Our task is to come up with a wedding guest outfit using codes found on Chippmunk for under $250. I wasn't sure which direction to take this in, so I made three outfits. I can't decide which one I like best - if you have a clear favorite, please cast your vote below! Thank you!

Outfit One for $245:
Express Dress: on sale for $50 + $15 off with code 4246
Kenneth Jay Lane Earrings via Bluefly: on sale for $30
Vince Camuto Clutch via Piperlime: on sale for $125
Loft Heels: $90 + 40% off with code GIRLSNIGHT: $54

Outfit Two for $230:
Loft Dress: $90 + 40% off with code GIRLSNIGHT: $54
Kenneth Jay Lane Earrings via Bluefly: on sale for $25
Wyatt Clutch via Bluefly: on sale for $80
Jessica Simpson heels via Piperlime: on sale for $70

Outfit Three:
Loft Dress: $90 + 40% off with code GIRLSNIGHT: $54
Loft Necklace: $75 + 40% off with code GIRLSNIGHT: $44
Hive and Honey bracelet via Piperlime: on sale for $16 
Enzo Angeiolini McKinney Heel via Piperlime: on sale for $70