Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December Purchases



I spent more than I would have anticipated this month, but I ended up picking up some basics that will last me through the year.  My best shopping trip was yesterday at the Loft, where I picked up three pairs of much needed dress pants for work (navy, black, and grey), a cardigan, and a pretty printed top for less than the cost of one pair of pants (less than $57!).  I also managed to get the black Malcet boots from Nine West for half price during a pre-black Friday sale.  I've been eyeballing them since October and was in need of a dressy black boot, so I'm glad I was able to get them for a more reasonable price.  They didn't come in until December, so I included them with this month's purchases.  The jeweled shoulder sweater and bracelet were Christmas presents to myself picked up on Christmas Eve.  Again, the overall total is more than I'm used to spending, but I managed to get some key pieces out of the way, so I don't anticipate spending as much in the coming months.  I've also been purging my wardrobe for the last two months, so I have a ton to sell and donate.  For the coming year my plan is to use the money I make from sales specifically to fund future purchases.  I'm also working on a list of pieces to add or upgrade in my wardrobe to better guide my spending.      

After savings on savings on savings, here we go:

Blanket Coat in Wine Country (Old Navy) - $21.79
Canvas Military Style Anorak (Old Navy) - $33
Malcet Boot in Black (Nine West) - $94.50
'Kilty' Suede Moccasin (Minnetonka) - $39.99

Mosaic Print Ruffle Front Shell (Loft) - $16
Cream Pointelle Detail 3/4 Sleeve Cardigan (Loft) - $7.88
Jeweled Shoulder Sweater (J.Crew) - $70.00
Crosby Stretch Slim Pant (New York and Company) - $23.48
Loft Pants: Marissa Bootcut and Straight Legs - $16, $12.88, $12.88

Bracelet (J.Crew) - $10.49
Patent Narrow Buckle Belt (J.Crew) - $6.99

Total: $365.88 - $85 Christmas cash = $280.88

Linking up with Fran for Budgeting Bloggers.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

New Desk!

Among all the great gifts I received this Christmas, this lovely new desk is one of my favorites.  I've been eyeing this desk for a few months, and I'm glad to finally have it.  For the last year and a half I've been using a small, convertible wooden table from a thrift store (it's circular, but the sides can be flapped down into a small rectangular table).  The only problem is that it's slightly taller than what is comfortable to use with my chair height, and no matter how many times I tighten the fasteners they manage to loosen resulting in a creaky and slightly wobbly desk.  With my new desk, I'm hopeful to have a more stable working space for my desktop as well as something a bit more fitting with the style of my room.  Now I just have to drag it up the stairs and tackle the task of putting it together.  Then I can have some fun and incorporate some of this desk inspiration into my work space.  This desk has no space for storage, but I like the clean and open look of it.  I'm looking forward to finding ways around it and using my bookcase and available under bed storage to make it work.

Any suggestions for good products or websites for desk, home office, or bookcase organization?   

Sunday, December 22, 2013

DIY: Dots and Brooches

I like to save broken jewelry and brooches, charms, and ribbon from gift sets and packaging because you never know when it will come in handy.  A few nights ago, I whipped up this Anthro inspired diy last minute for my Secret Santa gift at work.  I started with the plain and sturdy box from the store, and I used a hot glue gun to attach this broken horse pin I found at a flea market.  I drew the polka dots with silver and gold metallic markers from the dollar store.  It's super easy and simple, but I think it added something special to the overall presentation.  And who doesn't like metallic polka dots?  

Anyone else see potential in broken things?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shop Good, Do Good

It can be so easy to become consumed with material goods, especially during the holidays.  This year while you're finishing up your holiday shopping and adding things to your wishlists, consider checking out one of these organizations with online shops.  They not only give you what you pay for but they also give something back to someone else.
1) Every week Sevenly partners with a charity, donating $7 of your purchase to the cause.  Oh yeah, free shipping is not bad either.

2) Water is the last thing on my mind when I consider gift giving for family friends, but its a basic need that far too many go without everyday.  Charity: water is working to end this problem, with 100% of their public donations and products supporting clean water projects.  This tee is a small price to pay for clean water.

3) Knowing that this bag provides 100 meals, makes me want to find a way to fit it into my budget. FEED uses a portion of their sales to support programs and organizations working to end hunger and malnutrition across the world.

4) And by this point, we all know that if you buy a pair of TOMS, someone in need gets a free pair.  When you buy their eyewear, the company also provides prescription eyeglasses and medical treatment to people who need it in countries all over the world.  I admit, just having shoes is something I've taken for granted, but it's a big deal when you don't have them.  It can make all the difference in a person's life, giving them access to education and improving their health.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

November Recap + December Preview

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed the holiday weekend!  While a busy schedule (work, volunteering, etc.) and poor planning kept me from making use of my recipe stockpile, I did manage to use the Cranberry Relish recipe.  It was easy and delicious.  Originally I wanted to cook the entire dinner solo, but I underestimated how much work it is, especially when it's your first time.  Needless to say, I ended up getting some help from the ladies in my family.  From their assistance, I ended up getting two delicious recipes which I'll be sharing.  This includes my sister's delicious baked apple and sweet potato dish!

This month was also my first time participating in the Budgeting Bloggers linkup from one of my favorite bloggers, Fran.  You can check out my November "budget" as well as more fashion and style related posts in the outfits section of this blog. 

So, what's to come?  Now that I've finished most of my holiday shopping, I'll be sharing some gifts guides as well as holiday inspiration, reviews, recipes, DIYs, etc.  I hope everyone is getting into the holiday spirit and that the last month of the year is your greatest!  

As always I'd love to hear from you :-)

Photo credit: JRY


November Purchases

Here's my first time participating in Fran's Budgeting Bloggers linkup, and I have to say that I currently don't have a clothing budget.  I typically shop sales and try to get as many discounts and use as many rewards as possible.  I don't shop consistently; it's more in spurts here and there based off of things I "need" and deals I find.  While everything I purchased this month was reduced, looking at the total it certainly doesn't feel that way.  I usually do much better with the sales and my thrift finds.  I'm not sure whether or not I'll set an actual budget, but I think this will be a great way for me to keep track of my purchases and to encourage me to spend less collectively.  Since the holiday sales can be so good, I may start fresh with a budget next year.  I also have some major selling to do.  I'm hoping to get much of my November and December purchases covered with that, so I can start my year off fresh.  

I must say my J.Crew Colorblock Field Jacket is my favorite purchase of the bunch.  It was the only personal purchase I made over the Thanksgiving/Black Friday/whatever they're calling it now Saturday, so I feel pretty good about it.  Originally $198, tag reduced to $99, and I ended up with it for $70.  It also has a nice corduroy collar, which will be nice for wearing it without the hood.  The fabric is a little stiff, but maybe it will keep the wind out?  Either way, the fit is flattering, I like the colors, and the details.  It will probably be one of my new favorite jackets, perfect with a sweater underneath for chilly days. 

Gap Black Pants (old, final sale) - $15.97

Gap Polka Dot Blouse - $21.99

J.Crew Medium Leopard Pouch - $17.99
Silver Bracelet - $22

Total: $262.64

BCBG Chevron Skirt (Thrifted)

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