Monday, July 28, 2014

july budget

1. Target dress [seen here]: $20
2. Hudson jeans via Nordstrom Rack [seen here]: originally $180, on sale for $35
3. Project Social tee: $35
4. J.Crew dress [seen here]: originally $158, on sale for $55
5. J.Crew pants: originally $98, on sale for $35
6. Banana Republic Factory sweater [seen here]: $25
7. Uniqlo Jeans [seen here]: $40

Total July spent: $245

Quarterly Budget: $110 in May + $120 in June + 245 in July = $475

So I knew that July would be a bigger shopping month for me because of the trips to Seattle and NYC. Both of those trips were more about seeing friends and going exploring, and less about shopping, so I only purchased a few things in each place. While almost fall under my "rules", I felt like I tried to at least step a little out of my normal items. The striped pants (which are still on sale + 40% off) are a fun addition to my normal school pants collection, while the Hudson jeans (which I still can't believe I got for one sixth of the original price) are so comfortable that they'll be perfect for long weekends at the library.

I did order these shoes at the end of last month, but have decided I'm going to return them. While they are cute and very inexpensive, I don't have a need for another pair of sandals right before school starts. I also didn't really like the black part of the sandal as it looked a little too plasticy.

As for as c/o items this month, BaubleBar sent me these beautiful pieces of jewelry. I've been a long-time fan of the brand, and all of my pieces from them have held up very well! My favorite is this necklace, which I've worn at least five times since I received it a few weeks ago. It's something I would never have thought of purchasing, but it's my go-to item right now.

one | two | three [seen here] | four
So what are my plans for next quarter? Well, I have to wait until we get our student loan checks, so for the first three-ish weeks shopping is a little on hold. I did order this vest as it is backordered for another three weeks, so it won't ship/charge until after we get money. Once that comes in, I'm hoping to add a few of the items mentioned here so round out my closet....although this dress just came out, and I'm trying to figure out if there's a way I can make it work for school - thoughts?

Did you stick to your July budget? I would love to hear more about it - please add your link below, and be sure to link back to this post so your readers can read and discover other budgeting bloggers!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

medical school dress code: year two

shoes | dress | skirt
pants | skirt | cardigan 
With the end of my first year of quarterly budgeting, and with school starting in a little over a week, I've been thinking a bit about my closet and budget situation.

I think that the quarterly budget is working really really well for me. I still try to spread it out equally each month, but it's also nice for times like this summer when I did less shopping two of the months so I had more to spend in a month I knew I would be shopping more (more on that on Monday when my budget post goes up). Having the money in a separate savings account means I'm not spending money I don't have, and not touching money set aside for other, more important things (like books and bills). It also allows me to look a little bit more at the big picture. I needed a nice winter coat last year, so I planned around that the month before. I know the quarterly budget doesn't work for everyone, but I think it would work well for anyone who lives on student loans like I do, as we get all of the money up front.

As far as my school wardrobe, I think I'm at a pretty good place with what I own and wear consistently. Big staples for me included these pants from The Limited (I own them in two colors), these wedges from J.Crew Factory (also owned in two colors, and currently on sale if you are interested), and simple v-neck dresses like this one from Madewell. I try to mix it up with different scarves and necklaces, two items I should probably never purchase again (but I can't help it because I just love them so much).

Looking ahead, there are a few items I feel I have been missing out on:

  • My black revas have finally died on me after two years of consecutive wear (the elastic is completely worn out), so I am considering replacing them. They are quite pricey though, so I'm hoping to either find a pair on eBay, or possibly ask for them as a birthday present (although noise canceling headphones may be more practical!). I know they aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I love how they add just a little bit of interest, and once they are broken in they are so comfortable.
  • I also am considering these bow flats after keeping an eye on them for the past two years. Since I love my wedges so much, I figured a flat pair would also be practical to own. The nude works well on my skin tone, and the quality is hard to beat at that price point. 
  • While I love my ankle-ish dress pants I own now, I would really like to have a black pair of slim, full length ankle pants. I love how a similar pair looks on Yasi, and since I'm already such a fangirl of the pants from The Limited, I fully intend on trying on this pair
  • My skirt collection is a fun little collection of bright colors and patterns (which is unlike the rest of my closet, which is strange). I really need just a nice black, well fitting pencil skirt. I've also been looking for a maroon pencil skirt for the better part of the last year and no luck yet. I'm hoping that the fall roll-out will include some!
  • I tried on a red sheath dress last fall, and while I didn't purchase that one because it was too short on me, I have been searching for a similar one since then. I have a similar dress in black that I wear constantly (a lot on test days so I never photograph it), and it's so nice to just throw on with a belt and flats and be out the door. This one is similar and inexpensive, but not exactly what I want either, so another thing I hope someone makes this fall. 
  • My black cardigan from Old Navy has needed a replacement for over half a year, but I kind of always forget about it when I'm shopping. I have the tan version of this cardigan and love it, so the black version may have to come my way the next time they have a big sale. It's a boring thing to buy, but also something that will be worn all.the.time.
So that's the plan. I'm on a little bit of a shopping freeze currently until we get our loan money in three weeks, so I may only try some things on while I still have time, but no purchases until the money comes in. I have a bit of mixed feelings about starting school again (all this free time is so nice!), but I am excited to get back into actually getting dressed every day. Jean shorts and v-neck tees are only fun to wear for so long!

If you are new to my medical school dress code, here's a post about what is required of me, and here you can see everything I've worn to school so far. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

staple on sale: j.crew herringbone vest

For the last two years, the herringbone vest has been one of the most popular items out there - it always sells out almost immediately! I missed out last year, and instead found a much puffier version from Gap. While that vest is great for keeping all bundled up, it isn't something I can wear casually, it's more true outerwear. Luckily for both you and me, J.Crew Factory brought it back this year. With the current 30% off sale going on, it can be yours for less than $80. While pricey for a vest, it is cute enough to be on trend without being too trendy that you won't wear it next year.

If you aren't convinced yet, look at all of the adorable ways it can be worn here. I see a lot of chambray in my future ;)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

sweet sweet summertime

DSC01482After a whirlwind summer of traveling all over the country, I'm excited to spend the last two weeks at home before school starts again. I have a few projects I want to finish around the house (I started making this pinboard today for our kitchen), bike rides to go on (after receiving a bike as a surprise present!), and hopefully finishing Breaking Bad (only two seasons to go). After a day of sleeping in, going for a swim, and making a delicious dinner, we capped off the night with a Starbucks date. The cooler temperatures meant I got to wear both jeans AND a long-sleeved while I'm not excited for school to start, I am excited for FALL.

Please don't hate me for bringing up fall in the middle of July ;)

Top: ASOS [exact on sale w/ popback sizes!]
Jeans: Uniqlo [exact]
Necklace: c/o BaubleBar [exact]
Shoes: thrifted Tory Burch [current version]
Bag: Madewell [save - read Audrey's review here | exact]
Watch: Michael Kors [save | exact]
P.S. It seems that J.Crew is becoming the new Gap with their constant sales...and I'm not complaining. With their 40% off sale items, I picked up these adorable pants after seeing them on Kendi. I can't wait to wear them with all the red and cognac accessories ;)

Monday, July 21, 2014

too many damn rules

I spent this past weekend in NYC with my good college friend Ben. We had a great time catching up on our lives (both of ours have changed considerably in the past year since we saw each other), walking all over Brooklyn, and doing just the tiniest bit of shopping. We stopped at Steven Alan, which has all of these beautiful pieces of clothing - the kind that you would wear for the next ten years and really treasure and love. As I was looking through them, I was explaining to Ben how I really liked each piece but I just couldn't wear any of them and I don't even bother trying because "I know what works on my body and it's just easier to stick to those rules".

Oh boy. The rules. It's not until you try to explain to someone what exactly these rules entail that you realize that maybe, just maybe, you are slightly insane. What exactly are my rules? Let's just work top to bottom:

  • No hats. I have chubby cheeks and hats always emphasize that.
  • V-necks only (mostly). I'm fairly busty, so adding a bit of skin (but not too much!!! more rules) supposedly elongates my frame without it just being all 'woah, boobs' even if they are completely covered up. I also have broad shoulders, so boat necks make them look even broader, and I don't think I've touched anything high crew necked in years. 
  • Nothing strapless. I'm certain strapless bras are the devil. I just won't even put up with them, so I just don't buy anything strapless. Problem solved, rule created.
  • No cap sleeves. I dislike my upper arms, and cap sleeves cut you off right at the thickest part of your arm. Why emphasize those bingo arms when a full short sleeve is so much more flattering?
  • Also nothing sleeveless. It's hard to find dresses with sleeves so I will buy those sleeveless dresses (if I really like them like this one I found last week that has an all over "neutral" pattern) knowing that the majority of the time I'll wear a blazer or cardigan over it. I would love to own this beautifully designed colorful dress, but I know I wouldn't want to cover it up with another boring cardigan so I just don't bother. There are only 3 sleeveless tops in my closet, and I always wear them layered. There's a reason summer is my least favorite season.
  • Nothing too drapey/swingey/loose. I suppose I'm hour-glass shaped, so anything that doesn't come in at my waist makes me look a good 30 pounds heavier. You know all those cool people who wear loose slightly slouchy tops and skinny jeans and look amazing and casual yet still polished and put together? That won't be me. I'll be there in my heavy duty bra and tank top to suck it all in and tight but not too tight shirt to make sure you didn't think I was actually a walking square. I don't just throw on a shirt and walk out the door. There's a process involved in harnessing it all. 
  • Longer tops only please. I'm 5'9'' and pretty equal parts legs and torso, so most tops are too short on me (the saving grace being pencil skirts and tucking everything in!)
  • No midriff. Not now, not ever.
  • Aways belted. Either at my waist if I'm wearing a dress so that I don't look like a giant rectangle, or on my pants so I can shame-tuck the hell out of my shirts (to emphasis earlier said waist). Oh yeah, and the leather needs to match my shoes...because I have issues apparently.
  • Dark on bottom: Dark denim, dark skirts, dark shorts. I occasionally break that rule with white denim, but I generally try to keep emphasis off of my hips. That weird area that sticks out the furthest needs to be as camouflaged as much as possibly please. 
  • Nothing too short. I'm a lady now (you get that title when you turn 26) and so therefore we don't do 2 inch inseam anything. Okay, really it's just that my thighs rub and therefore I need the fabric to prevent that. I would love to wear a cute romper, but it would look ridiculous on me. 
  • No skirts that don't hit right above the knee. That's probably a pretty common rule, but with midi skirts/dresses being popular, I have to remind myself that they hit at the widest part of my muscular calves, which is "unflattering". Hate that word yet? Me too. 
  • #hussyankles: If you've been reading this blog for 6+ months, you will have noticed that my ankles are almost always showing, even in the winter. I just like ankle pants! I think they are the most flattering on my legs, and I don't like my shoes to touch my pants. I don't even have a valid reason for that weird rule.
  • Feeling overdressed. I have this fear of feeling overdressed. It's hard to articulate really what I mean, but a lot of it is situational. I live in a small city where I spend the majority of my time in study clothes or in business casual clothing while at school. Nothing calls for anything too fancy or layered or stacked - it's about being practical and appropriate. So then sometimes when I could be a bit more "pulled together" I feel that I'm faking it. And so then I just default to plain. Why stand out when you can blend in?
  • Being too trendy. This may be a result of having a blog and reading a lot of blogs. I see the trends come and go, and generally don't really participate. Sneaker wedges, high-low hemlines, overalls - nope, no thank you, not since I was 4. Not practical for my life, and not something that I would feel comfortable in. I of course love some of them - statement necklaces always work, and I'm so tempted to get these Birks (because they just look so damn comfortable, and I'm German so it's allowed), but in general I don't want you to look at a picture of me in a year and be able to pinpoint what month it was taken in based on what is trendy that moment. 

Are you exhausted? Because I am.

On the one hand, it's very helpful to know what looks good on my body and what doesn't. I don't waste time trying on crop tops because I will never ever spend my money on one. Shopping time and shipping costs are kept to a minimum because I only try on things that fit within these rules. I only buy something if I know it looks good on me, is something I can wear multiple ways, and fits my general aesthetic and closet. I buy for my current lifestyle but also try to keep in mind that starting next year I'll be working with patients on a daily basis. I have a closet of clothes that I actually wear, time and time again, and that generally can be mix and matched.

But on the other hand, I'm certain I just wrote a pretty good case for body dysmorphia.

Showing ankles is the most flattering? Mmmmmmkay.

Knowing what works and what doesn't is good, but it's so constricting. I just feel that all of these "flattering" items I own and continue to buy also make it all a bit boring. There's no excitement, no new things I'm trying and making work for me and my shape. Having rigid rules limits me from trying so many fun things happening in fashion. While I do think that sometimes being my size and shape limits me in the sense that I can't just make every item work on me, I really need to just take a step back and just...have fun with it. It's not going to kill me if I own one cute graphic tee - I'm sure I'll wear it enough to make it worth the purchase, and if it adds a bit of something special to my closet, even just for a year, why the hell not? I will be the first person to endorse making responsible shopping decisions, but something has got to give.

I tried to step outside my rules a tiny bit when I purchased this tee this weekend - it still follows some of the "rules" (v-neck, longer short sleeves) but is different from what I own - it's looser, more casual...even the tiniest bit slouchy. Maybe that's how you start to break out - breaking one rule at a time. No need to jump in head-first, just get a toe wet.

Please tell me I'm not alone here. Do you have any rules you are refusing to break? How do you stay true to yourself but still branch out? Have you previously said you wouldn't ever wear something but now it's a staple in your closet?

Friday, July 18, 2014

staple on sale: nordstrom anniversary edition

I grew up in a state that doesn't have a Nordstrom, so the concept of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale was completely foreign to me until last summer when Bri explained the magic behind this time of the year - getting the upcoming season's newest pieces for end of the season prices. You know I'm all about getting a great deal on closet staple pieces, so there's no better time than now to buy a few key pieces for the fall (even though it's probably still 90+ degrees where you are!).

Below are a few of my favorite, budget friendly (most under $100...even though I wish I could justify this beauty) items that would get wear for many seasons to come. Three work/school appropriate tops in neutral colors that would go with everything, and a comfy cardigan for the weekends (or long study nights!). A few pairs of designer jeans for almost half of the price (I bought a pair of the Hudson skinny jeans last week and am in love - they are incredibly soft!). And while winter snow storms are (hopefully) another 4 months away, these beautiful coats make me want to bundle up early (especially that Olivia Pope look-alike!).

I'm in NYC for the weekend so I'm hoping to stop by at Nordstrom to try on a few things in person. I definitely see this cute top (worn tucked into skirts or casually with jeans) and this cognac bag (something I've looked for for months now) coming back with me on the train. I hope I can find this menswear-inspired jacket too (I hope the arms are long enough, it's something I always struggle with).
one | two | three | four

one | two | three | four
 one | two | three | four | five

one | two | three | four (love love love) | five
(P.S. Big thanks to Sarah Christine for helping me figure out links for this post!)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

best internet friends

Lindsay, Bri, and Katrina
Last year when I went to Seattle, one of my most favorite memories was going to dinner with some of the bloggers I admire most. Bri, Lindsay, Katrina, and Kimmie were all so welcoming and fun and energetic - I was so bummed that they all got to live together in Seattle while I was moving even further away! Bri made sure to organize another get together this year, this time with the very patient men in our lives in attendance as well. The boys spent time bonding over making fun of blogging and taking pictures of us, while the girls discussed blogging, shoes, careers, and med school. These girls all lead such interesting lives, and it was just so inspiring to hear about their jobs and lives. I am even more jealous now that they all get to hang out and do blogger events and go eat pie whenever their hearts' desire. It's that much more of a push to move here in three years ;)

So what does one wear when meeting up with a bunch of girls who blog about clothes? I received this stunner of a necklace a few weeks ago for the upcoming BaubleBar x Nordstrom collaboration, so I decided that there was no better time to debut it than a dinner with girls who really appreciate jewelry! When you first look at it, you may wonder how exactly to wear this giant necklace...and I'm here to tell you to wear it with everything - as a finishing piece for a striped dress, stacked with another jeweled necklace, or as the center piece with a simple jeans and blazer outfit. I love that blogging not only brings amazing women into my life, but it also sometimes makes me step outside of my comfort zone to discover pieces that will become staples in my closet. If this necklace is slightly too large for you, this smaller (slightly more discrete version) would be a good way to obtain a similar look!

my outfit:
Dress: Target [similar]
Necklace: c/o BaubleBar [exact]
Shoes: Banana Republic [exact]
Belt: Gap [exact on sale - finally a gold-clasped one!]

Lindsay's outfit here, Bri's here (2 people stopped her on the streets that day to ask her about her outfit), and Katrina's here. Thank you again for a wonderful evening ladies (and thank you to Lindsay for bringing along a real camera and letting us steal her photos!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

rose city

DSC01356 On Sunday morning we hopped down to Portland. I had checked the weather the night before, and it said it was going to be in the mid 90s, so I happily put on my new (sleeveless) dress, didn't even think about packing a cardigan (because 90 degrees, hello), and jumped on the bus. 12 minutes into being in Portland...and it started to pour. Yeah, that 20% chance of rain was actually 100%, and those 90 degrees were actually 65. Luckily someone was smarter than me and brought his rain coat, and was kind enough (he forced me) to wear it. 

Despite the weather, we had a great time in the city! We did some of the touristy things, and ate at a bunch of great places (brunch at Huckleberries, ice cream at Salt & Straw, dinner at Deschutes Brewery, breakfast at Blue Star Donuts, and lunch at Oven & Shaker). Thank you to everyone for your recommendations - they were excellent :) All of you native Portlanders have such a beautiful city. 
Dress: J.Crew [exact, still on sale with code HOTOUT]
Belt: Everlane [exact]
Shoes: Target [similar]
Watch: Michael Kors [exact]

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Another day in Seattle means another day of playing tourist/tour guide! Bri let us use her car on Friday, so after a beautiful walk around Green Lake, we headed down to Ballard to grab some nachos + margaritas for lunch from the Matador, and then to Fremont to visit the troll who lives under the bridge (turns out he's a big softy). We ended up spending another hour walking around the area - it's adorable, and maybe my favorite part of the city so far. For dinner we had a sushi picnic down around Green Lake again - there were sooooooo many adorable babies around. It was mentioned that it was like watching real life America's Funniest Home Videos, with all the kids falling face forward into the wading pool and toddlers chasing squirrels, and it was so true!

On Saturday we headed up (down? over?) to go on a little hike to Snoqualmie Falls. Bri and I seem to match where ever we go - this time in our favorite Everlane tees. After the "strenious" hike, we treated ourselves to the most expensive pizzas ever, but they were worth every cent as they were so so good.

On the way back into the city we stopped at U Village because I've wanted to get to a Madewell all summer. I was hoping and praying that this crossbody bag would magically be on sale as it would be the best bag ever, but it was unfortunately still full price. My luck turned though when we popped into J.Crew as they were still having their 50% off sale items sale in stores. I have wanted this dress since the day it was released, but with the hefty price tag, I have held off for a good four months. I found the last one on the sales rack, in my size. With the 50% off sale plus my student discount, I got it for one third of the original price! I'm excited to wear it now during the summer for our last couple of trips, and then a bit more covered up during the school year. There are a few sizes left online, and with the current 40% off deal (that ends tonight), you can get it for a steal too! If the pattern is too busy for you, I think this subdued striped one would be a great addition to any closet (plus it comes in petites and talls).
Tee: Boden [exact on sale]
Shorts: Gap [similar on sale]
Necklace: Forever 21 [exact]
Purse: Coach [current version]
Watch: Michael Kors [very similar save | exact]
Shoes: Target [similar version now on sale]
Nails: Essie [exact]
We are headed down to Portland today - thank you so much for all of your awesome recommendations! We can't wait to fit in as many as possible into our quick 24 hour stay there - as many donuts as possible will be instagrammed ;)

Friday, July 11, 2014


DSC01235 Greetings from Seattle! We got here Tuesday and have been all over the place. Buying fresh fruit and flowers at the market, visiting EMP, experiencing all sorts of public transportation, kayaking on Lake Union, having dinner with a few of my favorite bloggers (more on that later), and just really enjoying our trip out to the west coast. I loved my trip here last summer, and this trip has been just as wonderful. I feel like I can kind of figure out the city better, and sometimes it's fun just to play tour guide a little bit!

During our adventures downtown, I of course managed to sneak in a tiny bit of shopping. I found these amazing super soft jeans at Nordstrom Rack that I was willing to pay the $90 price tag for (I buy jeans like once a year and they last me forever) so I was of course super excited when they rang up for 1/6 of the price they go for at Nordstrom! Seattle is just my jean-shopping location apparently

Bri has been such an amazing host, I really couldn't ask for a better friend. I'm excited every day when she gets done with work so we can go explore together. Yesterday we took advantage of going to the Nordstrom Anniversary Early Access Sale, and even though neither of us really found anything, it was just exciting to see all the pretty pieces coming out this fall. I was so tempted to buy these earrings (going for almost half of what they usually sell for) as I have wanted them for years, but I just always have to remind myself that I'm allergic to most metals. We then went to J.Crew because they were having a 1 day 50% off sale items sale (it is currently still 40% off though!). I fell in love with these olive pants, but they only had regular sizes in stores, and online they were almost 3 times as expensive! I also tried on this ruffley dress which Bri quickly vetoed, and a striped dress which was cute but sat too low on my waist. So in the end I walked away with nothing (I know, no one was more surprised than me, not even my boyfriend), but I loved having that shopping time with Bri in real life. 

We are going to Portland this weekend for a quick 1.5 day trip, so I would love to hear any recommendations you have. I've heard voodoo donuts is a must!

DSC01258 Sweater: Banana Republic Factory
Shorts: Old Navy [exact]
Sunglasses: knock-offs via Amazon [exact]
Bag: Coach via Etsy [current version]
Watch: Michael Kors [exact]
Ring: BaubleBar [exact]
Shoes: Target [similar now on sale!]

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

how to not pack for vacation

This is not a "how to pack for a 7 day vacation" post. 

I will be the first to admit that I'm not a great packer. My strategy previously was to throw all of my favorite items (so a bunch of basics) into my suitcase and hope for the best. It's worked out fine in the past, but always lead to pretty uninspired outfits. With this trip to Seattle, I tried to at least come up with a few outfits ahead of time (you can see some of the planning here on instagram). I still threw in some favorites because I knew I was going to change my mind, and because we don't have exact plans of what we are doing yet, but I'm hoping that this pre-planning will help me on days when I don't know what to wear. 

Here's what's coming with me:

- 5 blouses (top to bottom: ASOS, Loft, Loft, J.Crew Factory, J.Crew)
- 1 long sleeved striped shirt (Loft)
- 3 tees (Boden + Everlane)
- 1 cardigan (J.Crew Factory)
- 1 sweater (Banana Republic Factory)

- 3 shorts (Gap + Old Navy)
- 1 skirt (J.Crew factory - current version)
- 1 pair of jeans (Madewell)
- 2 dresses (Target)

- 1 crossbody (current version - mine is "vintage" via Etsy)
- 4 necklaces (c/o oNecklace, Forever 21, c/o BaubleBar - available next week)
- 2 rings (the x-ring is my new favorite!)
- 2 belts

Madewell + Target (the ones I ordered last week didn't come in time, but luckily I found my favorite pair from last year hiding in the garage!)

I left a little room in my suitcase because I'm hoping to find a few special pieces to come back with me. Last year in Seattle I bought my favorite pair of jeans (I found them for $30 on the sales rack!) so with so many stores right at my finger tips, I'm keeping an eye out specifically for another pair of jeans (lighter coloring, a little distressed - like this pair) and I'm hoping to find a cognac crossbody bag (like this beauty). Having a plan, and being willing to spend a little more on things I know I'll wear for years will help prevent having grabby fingers about every cute thing I see!

and for what I wore for a 6 AM departure time...
Blouse: Loft [exact]
Pants: Gap [similar on sale]
Watch: Michael Kors [exact]
Bag: Madewell [exact]
Flats: Banana Republic [exact]
Nails: Essie [exact]

Bri and I will be 'gramming like crazy - follow me here and her here!

Monday, July 7, 2014

closet inventory

When I was preparing to move last year, I spent a lot of time going through my closet and getting rid of a ton of it. I hadn't moved more than three miles in any direction in seven years, so I used the 600 mile move across the country as a good time to really sort through everything I owned. I spent months sorting, donating, selling, and giving to friends, and I thought I did a pretty good job of only taking with me what I really wore and used.

I'll be moving again next year, and to prevent another massive clean out during the super stressful time of board studying and moving, I'm trying to be proactive about what I buy and keep in my closet (and surroundings). I've been trying to buy less since I don't really "need" anything, and I've been cleaning more out. There were some things I held on to that I thought I would wear more during the school year, but I just didn't wear them, so I've already donated a giant bag full of clothes after this recent clean out. I wish that I had taken a full inventory last March just to see how much has changed in the last 18 months!

I've been asked in the past how much clothing I actually own, and so being inspired by AJ's and Kimmie's closet inventory posts, I thought I would share a little of my own. Here are all the clothes I own:

So what does that come out to? Here are the numbers:

Tops: 94
Sleeveless: 8
Tees: 21
Long-sleeved shirts: 10
Blouses/Button-ups: 26
Cardigans: 12
Sweaters: 17

Outerwear: 15
Vests: 2
Blazers: 9
Coats: 4

Bottoms: 36
Jeans: 5
Casual Pants: 5
Dress Pants: 8
Shorts: 8
Skirts: 10

Dresses: 23

Shoes: 34
Flats: 17
Heels: 8
Sandals: 5
Boots: 4

This of course doesn't include work out clothes, pjs, or the large amount of college sweatshirts I own (all the red in the back right corner). I'm a little shocked I own 200 pieces of clothing. I would have guessed it was closer to 150. There are still some things I know I'll be getting rid of in the next year, so I'll probably do a one piece in, one piece out rule.


I know many people suggest using thin velvet hangers to make as much room as possible. I won these wooden hangers last year from Alterations Needed (read her review on the petite hangers here) and I think that they work a lot better for me. I like that it spaces my clothes out a bit more, and it leaves me with a finite amount of hanger space - it prevents me from holding out to clothes I no longer wear. I used to organize my closet completely by color - all white blouses, sweaters, and tees together, and so on. I found that organizing by type helps a lot more - they are still organized by color (because I'm a bit of a nutcase) but now within type. So if I want a tee shirt, they are all together. If I'm looking for a cardigan to wear on top of an outfit, I can see the 12 I have available all in one space.

I'm hoping to inventory once a year just to see where I'm at. Questions about anything? Let me know!

Saturday, July 5, 2014


We moved to America when I was five, and as a permanent resident but not a citizen, I like to think of myself as an adopted American. I have lived here long enough (most of my life) that I've taken on the language, the customs, and the holidays of my adopted country. Of course, there are parts of me that misses Germany (mostly the fact that my whole family is still there, and the food!!!) but I'm thankful that America has welcomed me with open arms.

Happy (belated) Birthday 'Merica - you don't look a day over 238 ;)


Skirt: J.Crew Factory [current adorable pattern]
Tank: Everlane [exact - so so comfy!]
Cardigan: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Necklace: Forever 21 [exact]
Bag: Madewell [save | exact]
Shoes: Madewell [exact]
Watch: Michael Kors [exact]


P.S. The last time I wore this skirt was the day I renewed my permanent resident card....freaky.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

staples on sale: america edition

I'm a big believer in shopping the sales rack. I think patience pays off, and you can get some awesome pieces at a fraction of the cost that they originally went for. Getting those staple pieces you'll own and wear for years, and then getting them on sale, is the icing on the (4th of July) cake. Here's a round-up of closet staples currently out for grabs for a huge percent less than they originally cost:

J.CREW: 40% off sales items with code SHOPMORE (through July 8th)

So of course I first have to mention that my beloved schoolboy blazer is on super sale again (thanks to my girl Tierney for pointing it out!). See it on me here, and a review of regular versus tall here. There are several versions available at different price points, including a few under $40 (although at final sale, so please be warned). The field jacket is something I've had my eye on FOREVER, and if I wasn't holding on to my money to find a jean jacket, and if the tall were available in black, I would have ordered it. It's going for less than $80 though, so I highly suggest getting your fall coat now! The eyelet top is a piece I reviewed here, and I'm glad to see it finally came down in price. Finally, ballet flats and pencil skirts are forever, so may as well get them for a steal.

Loft is my new favorite store - partially because their clothes are ideal of my business casual dress code, and mostly because they are always having a sale. Above are a few picks that would stand the test of time (especially the striped dress - you'd wear it forever), with nothing costing more than $30. The top I got last week is also now on sale, so if you get it, don't tell me since I'll be so jealous you got it for cheaper than I did. 

J.CREW FACTORY: 40-60% off everything

My love for J.Crew Factory runs deep. I can't always afford the prices of the J.Crew pieces, but I know that if I wait long enough that the Factory store will have something very similar. Last year I was obsessed with this printed dress from J.Crew, but it never came down in price enough to justify the price, so needless to say, I'm pumped that they came out with the Factory version. It also has a skirt in the same pattern, which I was thisclose to ordering a few days ago after seeing it on Kristina. I'm heading to the outlets on Saturday with a girlfriend, so I'm hoping that I can find it in stores, at least to try on! 

Other sales worth mentioning:

BANANA REPUBLIC: 40% off (until 7/7)
GAP: 25% off (until 7/4)
ASOS: 20% off (ends 7/8)

happy shopping!