Wednesday, April 30, 2014

april budget

Madewell Sandalson sale for $50
Boden Striped Tee: $34
Madewell Flats: originally $118, on sale for $70

+ $45 worth of alterations for slimming a pair of dress pants at the ankle and raising a hem on a dress

= $200 for April

Quarterly budget: $57 in February + $225 in March + $200 in April = $482

Items received: this Boden skirt (seen here) + this Boden scarf

It was another month of trying on several different things, and only having a few work out. I ordered the madewell flats during a 30% off sale promotion after admiring them over a year. I really really like them, but it has rained almost every day this month (which is a large part of the reason that blogging has been so sparse), I've only had the chance to wear them twice. Once the April showers (hopefully) go away I'll get a chance to wear them a lot more. The sandals were a result of a shoe sale they were having, and knowing that I didn't really have a "staple" pair of sandals for the summer yet. I think they're actually a lot cuter in real life than they show on the website - a little less Jesus sandals, ya know? The Boden tee was something I ordered with my own money when I placed my order for the collaboration I did with them earlier this month. I've worn it and washed it several times now, and it's holding up great - no fading or fraying in sight.

In items that I wish had worked out but didn't territory is this eyelet dress and this eyelet top. While I don't ever advise using shopping as a coping mechanism, I was having a stressful couple of days, and J.Crew was having a sale, and they somehow showed up at my house, I don't know how, stop asking me about it.

Okay, in all sincerity, I had a bit of money left in my paypal account and told myself that I would only keep one, and only if I really really loved it. First up is the dress. I have found that over this year that I grab for dresses whenever I want to quickly put something on and have it still looked pull together. While boring, I really like black dresses because I find them easy to accessorize (usually either with cognac or red accessories) so while standard, it works for me. I also really prefer dresses with full short sleeves (no cap sleeves, not ever), so when I saw this one, and at 30% off, I figured I may as well give it a try. There are plenty of good things about this dress - the length is relatively appropriate (I'm not fearful of giving anyone a show with a little bending over), the fabric is thick, the cut is flattering, and the eyelet on top adds a cute detail. You can't see it in these horrible pictures (see Gigi's review here for better detail shots), but there is a line down the center of the torso that I don't totally love nor understand. The eyelet is a bit stiff, so while I think that would go away with wear and washing, it's not something I really like now. In the end, I decided that since I already have a short sleeved black dress in a very similar style (seen here from 2 years ago) that it wasn't worth the $100 to have something similar. If it ever comes out in a different color though, I think I will definitely give it a second shot because it would be great for both school and non-school events.

The second item was this eyelet top, which is way out of my normal price range for tops, but cranky Fran justified the purchase anyway. I figured if it was the perfect top, it would end up being worth all of the wear I got out of it. The top is thick, lined, and in a beautiful cranberry color. I knew going in that it would probably be pretty boxy on me, and I generally don't do boxy because I usually try to emphasize my waist more. I would say that it runs a little large, so if you are between sizes, I'd suggest going with your smaller size. In the end, if I half tuck it, I really REALLY like it, but for the price, I can't justify buying a shirt that only looks good one way. But because I do like it, I plan on keeping an eye on it, and will hopefully be able to buy it in a few months at a reduced cost (I'd prefer around $50).

So that wraps up another quarter of budgeting. For the next 3 months, I'm hoping to save my money up for the trips I'm going on this summer. I'm hoping to get to NYC, Boston, and Seattle, so I'd rather use the money on fun shopping trips in the city rather than online ordering things when I'm in a bad mood. I'd like a couple of cheaper sundresses (this one is adorable) just to throw on for lazy summer days, and a fun swimming suit cover up like this one for every afternoon I plan on spending at our little housing community pool. Only 3 weeks of school left!

If you'd like to link up below to share how budgeting went, please do so below! Please make sure you link back to this post so your readers can discover other budgeting bloggers :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

one year ago today: floral pants

Last night I had an interesting conversation on how much difference a year can make. On Monday we wrapped up our neuroanatomy course, and now we are starting with clinical neuro. I was reading some microbiology for the next block, and told a friend how six weeks ago I wouldn't have been able to understand any of the reasoning behind the anatomy, but now it all comes "naturally". I personally don't feel most days that I'm smarter than I was before, but these kind of situations remind me how much we have learned over the past year. He brought how much has changed in the last year, and the difference a year can make both professionally and personally.

Luckily, I have a very clearly documented past about what I've been doing for almost two years, so I went back to see what I was actually doing one year ago. And I was wearing this outfit, which is one of my least favorites I've posted on the blog. The proportions are all wrong, the pants were too big (and still slightly are, even after tailoring the waist), and it all just didn't feel right. This sparked the idea to do a semi-regular "one year ago today" post, where I re-wear something I wore a year ago, but try to improve or find a new way to wear something. First up, these floral pants. I was unsure at the beginning of the school year if I could get away with printed dress pants, but I think as long as I keep the rest simple, it definitely passes the dress code. 

Overall, I'm at a much better place than I was a year ago. Both personally and sartorially ;) 

Pants: Target [save | beautiful splurge]
Blouse: Everlane [exact]
Belt: Everlane [exact]
Shoes: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Bracelet: c/o Color by Amber [exact]
Nails: Essie [exact]
P.S. 500th post! That's crazy.

Friday, April 11, 2014

fvh in dvf

DSC00159My tax refund finally came back a few weeks ago (it always takes a bit longer because someone once stole my identity to file taxes) and I immediately bid on this DVF wrap dress on eBay, which was going for about $100 less than retail price (even thought it was NWTs). It's a purchase I've thought about for years, and I'm so excited to finally have one in my possession. While a patterned version would have been beautiful, I know that, for now, I'll get the most wear out of this black version. 

On a side note, I don't advocate for wearing shapewear on a daily basis, but certain styles of clothing call for a bit of help. I'm wearing this pair that I purchased in college, but I think I'd also like to add a pair like this for when I feel I need a bit more coverage in the legs. Does anyone have any experience or recommendations?
Dress: DVF [exact]
Necklace: Le Tote* [exact]
Shoes: J.Crew Factory [exact on sale]
Nails: Essie [exact]

* I received a six month subscription from Le Tote. If you'd like to try this fun service, you can sign up here!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

spring has sprung with boden

DSC00114 I first learned of Boden over a year ago through Lou - she always had the prettiest pieces that were fun but still work appropriate. I started receiving the catalog, and I always made sure to flip through the pages, even if I was busy with school. We keep a stack of magazines on our living room table, and my friends always grab the Boden catalog and say that every piece in it was made for me - and I always nod in agreement because how can one argue with stripes, polka dots, and tailored pieces? 

The answer is you can't.


This all is to say that when I was given the opportunity to review a piece from Boden, I enthusiastically said yes. I was at the point where I was a bit tired [understatement] of the clothes I had been wearing all winter, so I was excited to pick something out that was pretty, colorful, and versatile. I was initially thinking of getting this dress because I had had my eye on it for months, or this skirt because the model looks so pretty in it, but ultimately decided to go with this skirt for several reasons. First, I find that skirts are a bit more versatile than dresses, which means I'll also get a lot more wear out of it. Second, I own very little green, and as it turns out, this skirt has green, yellow, and blue in it, making it that much easier to mix and match with clothes I already own. And third of's really pretty. See:

While I was putting in my order for this skirt, I also used my own money to order this tee as one can never have enough striped tees. I'm happy to say that I LOVE it. Many shirts tend to be too short on me, but these ones are perfect in both torso length and sleeve length. Overall, I'm very impressed with the quality of clothing and customer service that Boden has provided, and they will definitely be receiving portions of my budget from now on. While the prices are a bit higher than I generally pay for items, I think it's more important that the money is going towards a few well made pieces that I truly love than to make my budget stretch as much as possible. Boden clearly has fun making their clothes, so I'm excited to add a bit more color and life into my sometimes too-neutral closet!

Skirt: c/o Boden [exact]
Necklace: Express
Shoes: J.Crew Factory
Purse: Kate Spade
Nails: Essie

linking up with Mix + Match Fashion

P.S. Have you seen who wore the Boden scarf better? It's a close race!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Boden through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Boden, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

fran versus fur: nova's floral scarf

I received this scarf a few weeks ago for a future collaboration with Boden, and I've been so excited to wear it. The dark background makes the floral pattern perfect for this winter/spring transition we're going through. I was so excited about it, in fact, that I let Nova, my friend Kira's horse, borrow it too ;) Just goes to show how versatile it is....

So who wore it better?

Skirt: J.Crew Factory [exact style on sale]
Blouse: H&M
Scarf: c/o Boden [exact]
Shoes: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Belt: thrifted

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


These last couple of weeks have been kind of draining. Between school politics, neuro-anatomy, practicals, and not having a spring break, I am just so tired. At this point the only real thing keeping me going is that we are done in seven weeks (which is actually pretty crazy!). This summer will all about traveling around this side of the country, and hopefully making a trip out to the west coast as well. I may be missing Seattle a little more than is reasonable for someone who has only spent one week there ;) 

(P.S There was still snow on the ground this morning, but it ended up being 65 degrees today so... NO MORE SNOW! ... just lots of wind)
Blouse: Le Tote [exact]*
Skirt: Banana Republic [save | beautiful splurge]
Shoes: Banana Republic [exact]
Belt: H&M

* I have received a 6 month complimentary subscription. Try it for yourself here!