Thursday, January 30, 2014

january budget

1. Gap Fit and Flare Dress: originally $70, on sale + Gap rewards:  $5 + $40 tailoring = $45
2. Loft Mini Blossom Blouse: $60
3. The Limited Dress: originally $80, on final sale for $12
4. Loft Ink Striped Teeoriginally $30 + BOGO 1/2 = $15
5. Madewell Terrace Dress: originally $128, on sale for $58
6. Limited Cardigan: originally $55, 50% off = $30

= $220

Quarterly Budget: $590 - $195 in November - $150 in December - $220 in January = $25 leftover

This was one of those months that I didn't realize what I had spent on clothing until I added it all up, and was actually surprised by how much I spent! I think one of the biggest disadvantages to my current shopping situation is that it's much harder to really shop sales and get the best deal because of a lack of close stores, and time. For the items I bought in store, I couldn't really wait for a sale because the mall was two hours away, so I end up paying a little more than I would usually. For example, with the Loft items, I would usually wait until they had a better in store promotion (at the time we were there, they had a buy one, get one half off promotion), but I knew we wouldn't be back any time soon, and I didn't want to risk the blossom blouse not being offered online. I guess that's a trade-off I have to work with though.

Overall, I feel I got some good deals and items that will get plenty of wear. I'm pretty excited about the dresses I purchased, and really see myself wearing them a lot (especially on days when I just want to throw something on for school).

This was my second quarterly budget since I've started budgeting this way. With around $500, I purchased:

3 sweaters
4 dresses
5 blouses
1 winter coat

I really like the way this method is working out - I can shop more when I have the time to, and then don't when I don't. It's also a lot easier to keep track of the money because it's all already in one account, and I just remove it for each purchase. There's not pulling money from different months or accounts to make up for it, so that really helps when trying to stay on track with keeping my financial state in order.

As far as sponsorship goes, I won a contest from back in the fall, and used some of the gift card to buy these boots (seen here). BaubleBar was also kind enough to send me this beautiful necklace (seen here), which is even prettier in person (P.S. have you seen their collection for Valentine's Day? It's super cute - this cuff is great for all year round, stacked with a watch or alone!)

On a side note, thank you for sticking with me the last few months! It's been pretty hard to blog lately with the crazy winter weather and the hours I've been putting into school, but I'm hoping that it will all get a bit easier with nicer weather and a more consistent schedule.

How'd the beginning of this year's budget start for you? Please link up below!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

any excuse to get out of town

I went to the local mall last weekend to waste some time walking around. The mall here is relatively small, and doesn't have a lot of the stores I usually purchase from or at least visit (no Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, J.Crew, H&M, or Forever 21) but at least they had a Gap...until now as they have shut it down. You can imagine my disappointment. Now we're using that as an excuse to get out of town and drive to Pittsburg to visit the much larger mall there. We went yesterday after a particularly boring healthcare management exam so that I could return this shirt and so my friend could return a few things at Nordstrom. After the returns, we stopped at all of the stores we don't have here.

Madewell Baseball Sweater
First up, Madewell. Maybe it's because I loved Kimmie's recent look with a baseball tee, or because this sweater looked so comfy, but I just wanted to try it on even though it's ridiculously expensive for what it is. It's cute, but not 2/3 of my monthly budget cute. Looking through the sales section, I was immediately drawn to this dress. I thought it would be great for an easy throw-on dress for school, but could be dressed up for special occasions too. My guy friend Travis disagreed, saying he could make me that dress from the fabric of his couch, but ya know, boys! They only had x-smalls left in store, but luckily they still have the lighter version online, so with their current 40% off promotion (use code BIG DEAL), it's currently on it's way to me. 

Next I made the boys patiently wait while I grabbed just about every piece available at Loft. I haven't been a big Loft person in the past because there wasn't one in our mall back home, but the more I'm exposed to their stuff, the more I like it, especially for school clothes. The striped blouse I bought on Cyber Monday is really one of my favorite shirts in my closet, so I was hoping I would have similar luck in store. This striped tee is adorable, and comes in pink, grey, and navy. I ended up going with the pink stripes because I don't have anything similar (I have plenty of white and black/navy), but I'm kind of wishing I had grabbed the grey too. The blouse on the right isn't currently on line. It kind of looks like a muted leopard print from far away, but is really is a little poppy flower pattern (it reminds me a lot of Audrey's polka dot blouse I love so much). The thing that I was most impressed about all of the shirts I tried on at Loft is that they were all long enough! Usually most blouses are too short on me and end up looking really boxy, so I was very happy that that wasn't the case here. I wish I had seen this shirt in the store - it's beautiful, and would have been super versatile. Loft is currently having a buy one, get one 50% off for all tops if you're interested!

I also ended up trying on these pants from Banana Republic because I thought the bright color and the print would have been fun, and they were 40% off (everything is currently online with code BRSNOW40), but they were horribly ill-fitting below my thighs - it just looked like I had flared pants on that were way way too short! We stopped at J.Crew, but they were turning over all of their inventory, so there wasn't much in the store. They are currently offering 40% off sale items online (with code BYEWINTER) and if I wasn't coming towards the end of the quarterly budget, this dress would be very very tempting. 

We finished the day off with this ridiculous-looking sandwich. It's a burger with coleslaw and french fries on it. SO GOOD. so healthy, right? ;)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

not so fun.

It's been almost a year since I last wore this dress - I don't know how I completely forgot about it hiding in the back of my closet! I went to see how I wore it last, and I realized that I kind of miss the way I used to dress back when I was working instead of being in school. I had more time to think of how I wanted to pair my clothing, and I felt I could get away with a bit more. Not to say that a stretchy striped dress is the most professional piece of clothing I own now, but I tried to tone it down a bit with neutral colors and less layers. 

If you've had to make the transition from "freedom" to restrictions, how did you handle it? 
Dress: Old Navy [save | splurge]
Cardigan: Gap
Tights: Target [exact]
Boots: Franco Sarto via [exact]
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]
Scarf: H&M
Ring: Gorjana Griffin [exact]

Friday, January 17, 2014

jewelry always looks good

This is one of those outfits that I like in person a lot more than I do in pictures. Luckily, pretty jewelry looks good allllll the time, even if my wrinkly sweater does not. 

BaubleBar Peacock Chandelier Collar
Blouse: J.Crew Factory [blue version]
Necklace: c/o BaubleBar [exact]
Sweater: Gap 
Pants: The Limited [exact]
Shoes: Lucky c/o [exact]

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Remember the good old days of when I got to wear jeans every single day? I miss those days.

Getting dressed now a days is a mix of professional clothing for school with study clothing, but I feel this is neglecting a large portion of my closet. I want to put a bit more effort into my non-school outfits, even if it's just to go study at Starbucks and then go on a Target run, like I did when I wore this. It's just as easy as throwing a sweatshirt on, but it's a hell of a lot more fun :)

Blazer: J. Crew [very similar on sale]
Tee: JC Penneys [similar]
Jeans: Madewell [same style]
Necklace: Ann Taylor Outlet
Shoes: Old Navy [similar]
In shopping news, I ordered this dress the other night during a late night study break (the best kind of break, amiright?). Gap was having a 30% off promotion, plus I had some reward points saved up, which resulted in this dress costing me $5 out of pocket. The fabric is thicker than I expected, which I really like. I think the top half of the dress is super flattering, but the bottom is oddly puffy on me. After consulting some of you on instagram, I've decided to take it to the tailor to see what she can do - either remove some of the extra fabric or sew some of the pleats down. I'm willing to pay a little more in tailoring in this situation since I didn't pay a lot out of pocket for the dress itself, and because I can see myself wearing this dress a lot. Anyone out there have any similar alteration stories/tips?

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Our second semester of school officially started on Monday, and it feels like we never even left. We got two weeks of vacation, and most of that was spent either driving home, making a little pit stop in St. Louis for a night on our way to Alabama, or enjoying the balmy (~40 degree) weather in Gulf Shores. I went to bed as late as I wanted, and slept in as late as possible every day - it was amazing. It was also spent trying to get back to school - it took nearly twice as long to get here as you couldn't go more than 40 mph on the interstate and I maaaaaaayyyyy have ended up in a ditch at one point. Whoops!

But anyway, school. This semester we are finishing out core (so last semester we did basic biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, and immunology) and this semester we do the basic pathology and pharmacology, and then we start into systems. I'm excited but really really nervous. I'll be spending more time in actual lectures too, which means I'll have a reason to actually put some thought into what I wear, as opposed to the end of last semester where I got to bum around my house most of the time. 

Dress: Old Navy
Scarf: gift from White Coat Wardrobe
Boots: Frye [exact]
Tights: Target [exact]
Belt: H&M

Friday, January 3, 2014

what I learned my first semester of medical school

Well. I'm officially am one eighth of the way to becoming a doctor. I've taken the last week and a half since my last exam to both reflect on how much has happened, and to try to block some of it out as well. I've heard it's kind of like childbirth ;) Here are some of the things I learned my first semester of this crazy (crazy stupid?) journey to becoming a doctor: