Wednesday, July 31, 2013

but i'm le tired

Blouse: J.Crew Factory [exact on sale]
Pants: Gap
Belt: The Limited
Necklace: gift from Whitney
Shoes: Old Navy
Bag: Target

Yesterday was our first real day of classes, and it was really only a half day of learning. I haven't been in school in for two+ years, so going from having a job that didn't require that much brain power, to funemployement, to having to focus for five hours, and then going home to study for another five is like....oh man. And this is the easy part! Next week we start anatomy and that's when it's going to get ccccccrrrrrrrazzy. 

My brain, it's tired. 

P.S. In case you haven't watched this since 9th grade...hokay.
P.P.S. Have you signed up for the latest Chippmunk contest? $600 up for grabs!

linking up with Audrey for the ways I've worn this shirt!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

pantyhose: do not want.

everlane silk blouse, banana republic ashley flats 
Blouse: Everlane
Skirt: Anthro via eBay
Necklace: gift from my mom
Bag: Target
Belt: H&M
Shoes: Banana Republic c/o Chippmunk [exact]
Nails: Essie Fifth Avenue

you know what isn't fun to wear all day? pantyhose.

I was putting my favorite pair on this morning, and they completely ripped. I was so upset, so then I had to wear this whiter/sateeny pair, and I just was not happy with them. They were uncomfortable all day. 

I honestly think the best feeling in the world is coming home, tearing off all of your clothes, and putting pajamas on. 


P.S. I ordered one of those gorillapod tripods so I can take a few quite pictures on my front porch without lugging around a huge tripod so hopefully the quality of photos improves somewhat soon.

Monday, July 29, 2013

summer fun with chippmunk

banana republic striped ponte skirt, gap round belt, everlane white tee, banana republic ashley flats, apple of my eye jewelry
I'm thrilled that I was asked to be a Chippmunk's Expert Shopper - you guys know I'm all about their expert shopper competitions and coupon codes, so it's a great fit for both of us! I was provided with $100 to put together an outfit for a summer - read all about my steals below!

To put together a fun summer outfit on a budget, I used Chippmunk to see what great deals I could find for purchases under $100. Banana Republic was running a 40% off everything sale, and as I love their quality of clothing, I was sold! I found this adorable ponte knit skirt that was on sale for $69, plus the additional 40% off coupon found on Chippmunk brought it down to $42. It's great for hanging out with friends in the summer grilling or maybe down by the lake, but can also be dressed up for school or work. The shape is flattering, the colors are perfect for summer, and the price was right! The flats are an item I've had my eye on for months, and I used the 40% off coupon to bring them down to $60 - they are real leather, are one of my closet colors, and will definitely be a staple. 

Are you interested in participating in the current Chippmunk Expert Shopper Contest? It's super easy, and if you win, you could win up to $100! Anything to get a little bit more out of your budget. I used my winnings from the first contest to purchase my favorite new blazer - what have you had your eye on that you would love to win? Here's how to enter:

1. Upload your steal via our website here

2. Share your steal via Instagram or Twitter with hashtag #chippmunkExpertShopper and answer three things : (a) how much you saved and where you go it at (b) why you love it and (c) your advice to other shoppers at that store

3. Repin your favorite steal on Pinterest with hashtags  #summerfun #chippmunkExpertShopper

good luck!! I can't wait to see what steals you've found recently!

Tee: Everlane
Skirt: Banana Republic c/o Chippmunk [exact]
Shoes: Banana Republic c/o Chippmunk [exact]
Belt: Gap [current style]
Necklace: Ann Taylor Outlet
Watch: Target [similar]
Bracelet: c/o Apple of My Eye 
Nails: Essie Marshmellow

Sunday, July 28, 2013

july budget

1. Madewell Skinny Skinny Ankle Jeans [seen here] - originally $115, on sale for $35: When I was in Seattle, I really wanted to find a new pair of dark skinny jeans as I don't have a thicker pair that can be worn not rolled up (like my AE pair that I'm surprised don't have holes in them yet). I found this pair on sale at Nordstrom, but ended up putting them on hold, and then found these at Madewell on the sale rack. They were the only ones on that rack in that style while the rest of this style were in the normal priced section, so I really lucked out. I've been really wearing them non-stop.

2. J.Crew Factory Crystal Necklace - originally $55, on sale for $33

3. J.Crew Linen Tee [seen here] - originally $42, on sale for $20 + giftcard = $10

4. J.Crew Factory Pencil Skirt [seen here] - originally $75, on sale for $45

5. Missoni for Target heels - $18 at Buffalo Exchange: I have admired these shoes for a long time on Heidi and thought they were just so cute. I found these in a consignment store in Seattle when I was with Kimmie and took them straight to the register. The thicker heel makes them easier to walk in, and the neutral palette makes them go with everything. I'm excited to wear them to school as soon as the scrap on the side of my foot heals.

6. J.Crew Linen Blazer [seen here] - originally $190, on sale for $90 + giftcard = $0 : I used my Chippmunk winnings to finally purchase this blazer after admiring it for months. It hasn't been cool enough yet to wear a blazer but I can hardly wait.

7. Target tote [seen here] - $30: This was a total impulse buy when I was at Target picking up more things for the house and for school. I've wanted a structured cognac bag for a while, but the ones I really like (like this one or this one) are way out of my current budget (also, how amazing would this red one be? so cute, and probably a lot more fun!). While I have my Madewell tote, I'm afraid to stuff too much into it because there is no structured bottom, so I'm afraid that the bottom will permanently be damaged or a handle will come off (is this an irrational fear?). We'll see how long this guy holds through and if it looks like it becomes a staple, I'll start saving for a nicer bag.

8. Kut from the Kloth white jeans - from Nordstrom Rack for $60: I've wanted white jeans for a while but every pair I've tried on in the past were either see through, too tight, or too short. These are thicker, stretchy, and long enough!

not pictured: Grey tee with leather details ($30) and orange tee ($15) from Nordstrom Rack (seen here)

= $276 - $85 sold = $191

So obviously this month wasn't the greatest for me in terms of budget. "Technically", I was $50 under last month, so it evens out this month, but I always still feel somewhat guilty about it. My trip to Seattle was where most of my money went since I had access to stores I didn't have in Madison (Madewell and Nordstrom Rack). I did find white jeans and a colored pencil skirt, which were two holes in my closet. The necklace is something I've wanted for a while, and the jeans are already worn all the time, so I feel good about this month's purchases.

As far as the last of my school wardrobe fund goes, it went towards buying this dress and these pants during a 40% off promotion. In the future, and with my normal budget I think I would like to add a dark grey or navy pair of dress pants to the rotation as well, so I may keep my eye on these (as long as I wear pantyhose socks with them....ugh dress code).

As far as August goes...I'm not sure. We don't get our student loan money for another two weeks, so nothing for sure until then. Anything I do purchase will probably be school oriented though - maybe those black wedges if a 50% off sale happens, or another pair of dress pants. Anatomy is going to hit us hard in the next few months, so I will have very little time to go shopping so whatever is purchased will be done online. I also still need to figure out how I want to handle my budget now - do I continue it monthly like I have been, or do I transition to yearly budget? On the one hand, having a monthly budget keeps me in check because I'm not like "oh, I have $1,500 to go through, WHATEVER, BUY IT ALL" but on the other hand, I will do a lot less shopping, so this would be a good time to buy some more quality staple pieces and that's easier when you can buy a $200 purse one month, and then nothing the next. I'm done selling clothes now since everything that came with me are items I actually like and wear, plus I just won't have the time to deal with it. Let me know if you have any suggestions on how to handle this whole new financial situation I'm in.

So how did July treat your budget? I'd love for you to join the budgeting bloggers below - all I ask is that you please link back to this post so that your readers can discover other budgeting bloggers!

Friday, July 26, 2013

day one of the rest of my life

photo (55)
Shirt: Tahari via TJ Maxx
Skirt: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Belt: Old Navy
Wedges: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Tights: c/o Hanes 
Bag: Target [current in stores]

Funemployment is officially over - today was our first day of school! We haven't actually learned anything medically related yet - that starts on Tuesday with a fun three hours of histology. Today was just the orientation / meet people / have your paperwork in order day. I wasn't really sure what I was going to wear until I bought this skirt on Monday. I was a bit afraid that I was too colorful (I had a necklace on as well but decided to tone it down) and that I would be this giant blue blob in an ocean of black, but the girls (and some of the guys) were bright too so I felt a lot better once we got into the school. I also wore my new wedges for the first time since I ordered them in May. They were pretty comfortable as far as non-flats go - they didn't rub any of the wrong places and were actually fine to walk in. I just need to get my toes used to having a bit more pressure on them. Because I had to wear flats at work, and because there weren't many occasions outside of work that warranted heels, my feet are not used to it, but I'm sure they'll get used to it all real quick. J.Crew Factory is currently having a 40% off everything (both online and in stores if you are need an outlet) so I may order the black pair as well. I may also order this sweater since it is quite a bit cheaper online than it was in the store earlier this week (seen here) but I also feel a little silly about buying a sweater in July so I may just hold off....even though it's really cute. 

Also, I apologize about the crappy iPhone pictures lately. We carpool with the girls in our complex the mile and a half to school, and actually taking real pictures and editing them take up quite a bit of time (that I won't have), so hopefully you guys can put up with this method for a while until I get it all figured out. 

P.S. budgeting bloggers goes up on Sunday. Time to fess up (for me anyway...this month wasn't that great).

Thursday, July 25, 2013

white out: six ways

You guys know I love seeing how versatile pieces can be, and the best is seeing them on several different girls. I am thrilled to take part in this month's Side by Side Challenge: White! You can either go all over and be brave like Amanda, Kacie, and Erin did, or just use to freshen up a look with color, like Jennie, Megan, and I did. Don't they all look amazing? Make sure you visit everyone and say hello - they're some of my favorites!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

here, there, everywhere

Top: Nordstrom Rack
Jeans: Madewell [exact]
Necklace: Forever 21 [similar]
Shoes: Target [exact]
Purse: Coach [current style]

ahhhh! life has been pretty crazy the last few days! 

On Friday at 4 AM, I piled into my stuffed car with the dogs and drove the ten hours to my new home. The drive was fairly dull and uneventful, but went by fairly quickly thanks to the Mad Men episodes I listened to. We got here and within two hours, I managed to lock myself out of our house, and then I twisted my ankle while walking the dogs, so needless to say I was not in the greatest of moods. After a shower (without a shower curtain) and sleeping on the floor for the night, I drove a rented U-Haul two hours away to go buy furniture at Ikea. I never ever want to drive that big of a vehicle ever again! Horrifying. But I did manage to find all the furniture I wanted - a bed, desk, bookshelf, night stand, desk chair, reading chair, and a coffee table...but when I went to go pay, my card was declined, so with 7% left on my phone battery, I had to call the bank to verify that I, in fact, am not someone else trying to buy a bunch of furniture. So that was a really fun experience as well.

But since then, life has been really good. My roommate came on Saturday, and we've had a lot of fun putting our house together. My room is about 80% of the way there (as you can see by the remaining box and mess above). It all got a bit side tracked when I realized that a vital part of the bed frame was missing, so I had to drive back to Ikea on Monday to pick it up. I really didn't want to drive all the way back there, so I rewarded myself with meatballs at Ikea and a stop at the outlet mall. It was the biggest outlet mall I've ever been to - like I had to drive from one side to the other! I was hoping to find a few dress pants, but everything I tried on at the Banana Republic Factory store, and at the Ann Taylor factory store looked horrible on me. I eventually found and bought this skirt (in a bright blue) at the J.Crew Factory store - I think I may wear it to the first day of school on Friday! I also bought this necklace after admiring it for months on Laura - it'll be a staple for sure!

Yesterday we went to go get our ID badges, get fitted for our white coats, and then I bought a few of the books I need in the first weeks - it made it all feel so real! Last night we had our first get together - a wine and cheese (!) party at a classmate's apartment. The outfit above is what I wore - it's been the only time I've put on a real bra and more make up than mascara since I arrived. I was pretty nervous walking into a room of strangers who I knew I would have to spend a lot of time with the next four years, but everyone was honestly so great. Our school is very popular for out of state kids, so it was interesting to meet people from all over the country. I even found a kid who was in the OSU marching band, so we have seen each other perform even if we didn't know it at the time haha. 

Finally meeting people from my class, having my room set up, and getting to know the people around me has made me really excited about all of what is happening. I felt that in the last few weeks, all of my emotions were put towards the move and the thought of leaving everyone, but now that that is behind me, I can focus on the journey ahead. ahhhhh!!!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

staple on sale: j.crew schoolboy blazer

If you guys read my blog through last fall and winter, you'll know how much I love my J.Crew Navy Schoolboy blazer. I felt I wore it at least once a week, every week, and I don't really intend on changing that pattern this fall. I purchased mine last year as a birthday present to myself, and it still is the most expensive piece of clothing I own. These babies rarely go on sale, but they are currently on SUPER sale for $99. If you have ever debated buying this blazer, now is the time because in the year and a half I've been watching it, the price has never been this low and I don't anticipate it ever being this on sale again. It seems almost all sizes are still available - mine is a 10 Tall and you can see more of a review between the regular and tall sizes here.

Thank you to reader Abigail and Gigi's Gone Shopping for pointing out this great steal!

Friday, July 19, 2013

sponsor love: fairy wings make good soup

Hello! I am currently trapped inside of my little scion with all of my worldly belongings and the dogs as we move to Pennsylvania, but you're in luck because 1. you aren't trapped in your tiny car and 2. today you get to meet Kim. Kim blogs at Fairy Wings Make Good Soup about her life as a military SAHM to an adorable three year old. She blogs about fashion (geared at the SAHM lifestyle!), "temporary" house tips, and recipes. I just think she's so cute and love reading about what her little family is up. Make sure you visit Kim to say hello! You can find her here:

are you interested in sponsoring Franish? more info here!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

goodbye madison :(

I distinctly remember the day I moved to Madison. 

I had been looking forward to that day for four years - ever since my freshman year of high school when I decided I had to go to the University of Wisconsin. It had been my dream for so long, and finally I got to move to the big city from my tiny hometown. I remember sitting in my parents Surbuban and as we were driving up to my dorm, my dad played On, Wisconsin over the stereo and as dorky as that was, it was like...yes, this is it. It was so exciting - my dorm room right down town, so many things to see and do, and all on my own. I was just so excited to meet new people, live in Madison, and experience something completely new to me. As I stood at the front door of my dorm building waving good-bye to my parents, all I felt was excitement.

Over the next five years of school, I met so many great people. People who were from similar backgrounds, or from somewhere I had only read about. 500 people over five years who stomped around dirt fields with me for two hours every day for the love of our school. People who taught me about love, about organic chemistry, about friendship, about human sexuality (the class!), about how to live a better life. I got to travel all over the country, march my final show at the Rose Bowl, and do it with my closet friends. The people I kept closest were strong, smart, and ready for everything which is so evident by what they are doing now - studying to be doctors, living abroad, moving to bigger cities to follow their dreams, engineering things. My friends are going to change the world, and Madison gave me the chance to meet them.

If you haven't been to Madison, you must visit. It's a city of lakes, beer, cheese, trees, sportsmanship, and architecture. If you come, come in the fall - middle of September when the leaves are just barely changing, warmth is still coming off the lakes, and everyone is wearing cardinal red. Go eat cheese curds at The Old Fashioned, enjoy a pitcher at the Terrace, and ride a b-cycle down the lakeshore path. Watch my successors play my favorite song while 80,000 people wave along in my favorite place on campus. Walk down state street (more than likely having to side step someone protesting something) and watch all the walks of life coming together enjoying the nice weather.

The last few days have been really difficult for me. Every time I think about how I won't be here to experience those things, I become really sad. I love Madison. I found love, my friends, and myself here, and to leave it terrifies me. While I feel I've traveled quite a bit in my life, I've lived within a 60 mile radius for the last 18 years of my life. I like that I can drive an hour and be home. I like that I know every street here and the shortest way to cut across town. I like that I know where the closest Culvers is, what time to avoid the beltline, and where the best place is to watch the sunset. As I was driving home from my parents' house last night after saying goodbye, I felt especially emotional (listening to this song as I drove away was probably a terrible idea). I called my friend Ben, and after ugly crying over the phone, he told me exactly what I needed to hear - that Madison will still be here when I'm ready to come back, that I've worked towards going to medical school for so long that all I should be feeling is that same excitement I felt seven years ago, and that this is a new adventure and it's going to be just as great as the one in Madison was.

As I pack up my car to move ten hours away from my boyfriend, my family, and my friends, I'm sad to leave, but so thankful that I got to experience it in the first place. 

I love you Madison. I'll be back :)

Dress: Madewell [exact]
Belt: The Limited
Shoes: Old Navy
Purse: Coach
it'll be pretty quiet on here for about the next week, but you can always find me here and here :)

linking up with Mix and Match Fashion.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

play ball!

everlane tee, everlane blue tee, gap round belt 
Tee: Everlane
Shorts: Gap [similar]
Belt: Gap [same style]
Sandals: Gap Outlet [similar]

This is about the only presentable outfit I've worn since I returned from Seattle. My friend Lizzi asked me to go to a Mallards game with her (a collegiate summer league that plays here in Madison) on Thursday. Right before I started getting ready, I was packing up some of my clothes and re-discovered these white shorts. I thought I lost them, but they were really just hiding under my Game Day bibs (picture from late 2010 and yes, Chris is wearing my game day skirt...). Anyway, wore my re-discovered shorts, Everlane tee, and cognac accessories to go "watch baseball" (drink fruity beers and eat brats) as a break from packing. and packing. and packing. 

Packing is going...fine. There's just a lot of stuff to take with that one doesn't even think of like...socks and beauty products and roller blades. I've mostly just been packing and cleaning. I did go to the mall to see if my computer was on the fritz (good news, it's not), stopped at Victoria's Secret to buy a few bras and underwear, and stopped at J.Crew to see if this jacket (in white and black) was more reduced than it was a week ago (it wasn't). I also tried on this top but I wasn't sure if it was black or dark dark blue, so I passed since I find navy really difficult to wear as a separate (because right now my criteria is if I can wear it with black pants because I'm a boring dress code dresser). It's probably for the best that they didn't work out because I would have to pack them into my tiny car on Friday, but the mall in my new town doesn't have a J.Crew (yes, I looked) so I wanted to try on one last time. In other shopping news, I did receive these wedges a few days ago after ordering them months ago and they are perfect (or at least they felt perfect for the 10 minutes I wore them before boxing them up)! I may even have to order the black version the next time they have a big sale if the nude versions hold up well ;)

sunset, madison sunset, james madison park
^^ sunset on the drive home. amazing, right?

P.S. virtual cheeseburgers for you for heart clicks ;)

Monday, July 15, 2013

closet clean-up: from cluttered to loved

Once I found out in February that I would have to move for school, I slowly started cleaning out my closet. I've lived in Madison for seven years now, and have lived in four different houses. Each time we moved, I just grabbed everything I owned and took it with me to the next place a few streets away. This move though, across several states and by myself, would require me greatly reduce the items I own.

I had clothes in three different places - my main closet that had all of my normal clothes, some coats in our coat closet, and my handful of dresses (which I couldn't wear to work) were in a shared closet in our bedroom - our place has a lot of closets! I started out by pulling all of the "big ticket" items that I knew I could sell on eBay - a few purses, a North Face jacket, and a few J.Crew / Banana Republic items. I'm a pretty beginner eBay seller so I don't have a ton of tips and tricks. I do a lot that is recommended here, and I almost always use the eBay app as you can take pictures, upload, and have a listing within just a few minutes from your phone.

Once those items were gone, I started going through the clothes that I regularly look at. I pulled out the pieces I knew I hadn't worn in years, and put them aside. I tried selling some on poshmark and on here, but those took more effort than it paid out. I basically worked through my closet a little bit at a time. Every time I by passed something and couldn't remember the last time I ever wore it, it went into the pile. About once a month, I would take a pile of clothing to Plato's Closet - a consignment store geared mostly towards teenagers. My experiences were fine there - I've made about $100 from selling clothes there, but I felt because they were so geared toward teens that a lot of my nicer items that just didn't fit were passed because they were "too mature". The items they didn't take I handed down to my mom and sister, and whatever they didn't want, they donated to St. Vinnies.

That was what I did up until this past weekend. I move on Friday, so this last closet clean out was really necessary to get rid of the last unnecessary pieces. I had already packed up all of my blazers, remaining bottoms, skirts, and shoes which hadn't been pulled. My family is shipping those boxes to me at the end of the week as I just didn't have enough room in my car. Next, I went through all of my tops. I pulled each one out of the closet and put it on. If I felt uncomfortable in it, if it fit me wrong, or if I knew I was just never going to wear it again, into the pile it went. I'm only packing the pieces I really wear. As hard as it was to let go of a bunch of relatively nice jeans, tees, and sweaters, I knew I hadn't worn them in so long, and with my restrictive dress code, I knew they weren't going to be worn in the future either. I tried one last time to take a few things to the consignment stores, made about $25, and took everything else directly to Goodwill. I set a side a few things again for my mom and sister, but the rest will find a new home with something who will appreciate them.

When I look at my closet now, and even during the cleaning out process, I felt so much better about getting dressed. I didn't feel guilt looking at all the clothes I spent money on, but didn't wear. My choices were limited, but I liked everything, so I never had "I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR" moments. Since I started working with a budget, I feel like I've been a lot smarter about what I buy, so I'm hoping that in a year/four years from now, I won't be in this same situation. I need to make smart buying decisions, buy items off of my holes in my closet list, and not just buy on a whim. I want to find the balance of buying staple pieces versus more "fun" pieces - maybe do 3/4 of my budget towards purchasing items I will get a ton of wear, and then the rest towards statement/fun pieces? Since I will be living off student loans that I receive twice a year, instead of paychecks I receive twice a month, I may do what Kimmie and Jess do, and have a yearly budget and work with it that way. I'll definitely share what I decide to do!

I can't wait to show you guys by new closet next week! It's going to be beautiful :)

My tips for cleaning out your own closet - no moving 10 hours away necessary! :

+ Pull everything (EVERYTHING) out of your closet, and try each piece on. If it doesn't fit NOW, get rid of it (or if it may fit again for sure, put it into storage)

+  If you haven't worn it within the last year, ask yourself why. Does it just fit wrong? Donate or sell. Not your style anymore? Pass along to friends or donate. Needs alterations? Put into the alterations pile and actually do them.

+ Be prepared to make "the hard" decisions. Yes, it sucks that you spend x number of dollars on that sweater/pant/skirt/shoe....but what good is it doing you in your closet if you haven't worn it in years? Either store it in case it comes back into fashion, pass it along to family members/friends, sell it, or donate it. You'll feel better not looking at it every single time you open your closet.

+ Reorganize your closet so you can see your clothes better. I currently organize by color, but when I move, I'm going to organize by type - blazers, cardigans, sweaters, tees. Seeing your clothes in a different way may inspire you to wear it a different way.

+ Now that you know what you have in your closet, think about what you think needs to be added. Think about what you want your style to be, what colors you should focus on, and what pieces you'd like to add. Make a list, and keep an eye out for them when you shop. If you are unsure, these posts, these posts, and these posts have been a big help to me!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

good bye seattle!

EMP wall purple wall seattle emp wall
Tee: Everlane
Cardigan: Gap [similarish]
Shorts: Gap Outlet [similar]
Purse: Coach [current style]
Sandals: Target [exact]
On Wednesday I was off by myself as both Bri and Kimmie had to be working/mothering adults that day. I loved having both act as my tour guide, but it was also nice to go off and be a bit more touristy by myself. I felt I had a bit of a handle on down town Seattle so I went off to go exploring. I started off by taking the monorail down to the Seattle Center. I just walked around the grounds for a little bit when I ran into the purple wall of the EMP Museum. I had a flashback to this post Kimmie wrote (I had read through all of her archives and remember thinking how cool it was) so I had to recreate it. I like how my cardigan kind of matches the wall - not planned ;)
espresso monorail seattle coffee
^^from Bri's favorite espresso "cart" (the world's first!)
emp emp wall seattle emp from above

After my little selfie photography, I walked down to check out the international fountain and waited for the show...which never started. I texted Bri asking why nothing was happening and it turns out, that day was the day it was down for maintenace! boo. Next time (because there WILL be a next time!). I had wasted just enough time for the Space Needle to open. It was actually pretty awesome being there so early. I got a discounted ticket, I rode up the elevator by myself, and had the whole observation deck to myself besides one other couple.

^^the lake we rode on the ducks & paddle boarded in!

Afterwards I rode the monorail back and headed down to Pike Place Market to buy an OMG Peach, a coffee mug for Chris from the original Starbucks (it wasn't as busy at 8:30 AM on a Wednesday as it had been at 10 AM on a Saturday), and flowers for Bri. I waited for Nordstrom Rack to open, and then went looking around for the third time on my five day vacation. I almost walked out with nothing but then I found these jeans (finally!! I've always wanted a white pair, and especially after seeing how great Bri's always look), this shirt as a complete Bri copycat (mine's grey though), and a bright orange (who am I?!) silk tee thing. Yay, Seattle souvenirs! ;)

Then I headed over to Nordstrom and it was ccrrrrrrraaaaaazzzy. We don't have a Nordstrom in Wisconsin, so I'm not used to 1. all of the expensive stuff and 2. the craziness that is the semi-annual sale. I used this time to figure out what size trench coat I wear, to go look at my future Chanel bag (in 4-5 years), and to try on this dress for size. Now that I know what size I would wear, I'm going to stalk eBay so I can find one for 1/4 of that price! Keep your fingers crossed for me. 

I went and got Bri from work, and we headed back to Nordstrom to eat at the cafe (we also don't have department stores in Wisconsin that have cafes - I feel we are missing out). So much good people watching! The food was delicious and I suppose the company was alright too ;)

Then, because I'm a HUGE Grey's Anatomy fan, I insisted that I needed to go ride the ferry boats.
I don't think that if you go visit Seattle that this is necessarily something you need to do, because after the initial views of the skyline it's kinda boring, but I'm still happy I went. It was pretty beautiful out there.
That night Bri and I walked around Green Lake again, had sushi as a farewell dinner, and then she dropped me off at the airport. You guys, it sounds so silly when you say it out loud, but this stranger that picked me up from the airport and let me stay in her beautiful home has become such a good friend to me by the end of my stay. Bri is like the definition of good people - warm, welcoming, excited to show you her city, and kind. We had so many laughs and like it honestly pains me that I don't get to spend every day with her. Bri, thank you for the best vacation of my life. Can't wait for the next one :)

Friday, July 12, 2013

fran and kimmie ride the segways

Shirt: Banana Republic Outlet
Jeans: Madewell [exact]
Necklace: c/o Apple of My Eye
Purse: Coach [current style]
Shoes: Target [exact - may be on sale in stores]

On Tuesday, Kimmie and I had purchased a groupon to go ride on Segways around West Seattle (that Kimmie, she's a thinker!), but first we stopped at Bakery Nouveau for lunch. We both had sandwiches (mine was turkey havarti, hers was the california) and then also both had the almond crescents which were aaaaamazing. On top of that feast, I also had to try my first macaron. It was cute to look at and tasted alright, but I don't think it's my favorite dessert of all time. That prize goes to tiramisu, followed closely by apple pie.
After that we walked around the neighborhood, and then it was time for segwaying. Here's Kimmie getting on for the first time (oh you want it in video? I have that too) and here I am my first time. HA. Just kidding, this was after about 10 minutes of getting used to that beast.
and then we scooted around for next hour with our tour guide and this cute litle Danish family.
Afterwards we again rescued Bri and her co-worker Ash from work, and went to happy hour at Sazerac. We shared a bunch of delicious apps - stuffed dates, little pizzas, sweet potato fries, and beet salad - and drank sangria with a view of the public library.
After that, we had a fun little experience with riding the bus, went home to change, and then went to the Brave Horse Tavern for drinks with Katrina and Amber. On the way to the restaurant we had to take a minute to capture this moment - Fran, the Space Needle, and the SLUT (seriously, I love any city that names their trolley system that).
I really loved hanging out with these girls. This was all of our first time meeting Amber, but it really didn't feel like it. We talked so much about our jobs, our past and current relationships, traveling - it was awesome. I've mentioned a few times that I don't have many girlfriends left in Madison as so many moved after we graduated, so it really just made me so happy to feel like I had girls to talk to again. I think that is what made this trip - connecting with the ladies in real life.
^^ pretzels with pimento cheeese dip, sour cream and crispy onion dip, and peanut butter with bacon!
Katrina, Bri, Fran, Amber

P.S. clicky -click? also make sure you help out my girl Bri!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

madewell afternoon dress and paddle boarding!

Madewell Afternoon Dress how to wear madewell dress gap round belt On Monday, Bri had to go back to being a responsible adult and go to work, so Kimmie became my official tour guide. I wore my new dress because I kind of forgot that we were going shopping - I was just so excited to wear it! It's just short enough that it's playful for day, but with the proper hose/shoes/cardigan and or blazer, it'll be great for school. We went to Northgate Mall to go to Nordstrom Rack - I didn't have any luck (again!), but Kimmie found a cute sweater and sunglasses. 
Madewell Afternoon Dress gap round belt how to wear navy dress
Dress: Madewell [exact]
Belt: Gap [same style]
Bracelet: c/o Apple of My Eye [exact]
Shoes: Gap Outlet [similar]

Afterwards we went back to the international district to pick up some banh mi and more bubble tea (what have you girls done to me?!). We drove over to a small park and had lunch overlooking the water. It was beautiful!
Then we drove down town to free Bri from work so that we could go paddle boarding! I wish there was a way I could have brought my camera (I really should have put my cell phone into a plastic baggy and kept it in my life vest) because our view was amazing. The whole sky line, beautiful homes, and friends paddling around the water. It was awesome and so much fun. 

Afterwards we made sure to go say hello to the Fremont Troll, and picked up a little snack from Dick's (apparently the sauce is famous, har har), and then ended the night at El Chupacabra where we had ciders and dinner.

love Seattle.