Friday, March 28, 2014

Wardrobe Additions: March


Unfortunately I had to return the brown tote from last month due to some defects; I didn't want to bother reordering.  However, I did manage to add some key pieces from my wardrobe wishlist this month.  This includes some much desired colored accessories with a huge order from Forever 21.  I've also been super blessed to catch some great deals, especially on the C. Wonder Easy Tote I've had my eye on for months.  I'll be posting a review of it soon including how it compares to my Longchamp tote, so stay tuned!

Here we go:

Morning Meander Top (Modcloth) - $27.99 ($15 credit with my referral link here!)
Striped Boatneck Solid Back Tee (Loft) - $4.88, online for $12.88 right now
Short Pave Link Necklace (Loft) - $0.99, with $20 reward!
Black Easy Tote (C. Wonder) - $60.07, 40% sale now through Monday!
Forever 21 Accessories Haul - $75.91
Neutral Patterned Dress - $12.99 (Ross)
Super Comfy, Creamy Chai Popover Blouse (Target) - Gifted

Things got complicated this month with two returns and price adjustments, so I've yet to calculate the exact total, but I know I came in under $150 for everything!

Blue Statement Multi-Braided Choker (here)
Teal Beaded Layer Necklace (here)
Coral/Pink Colorblocked Beaded Necklace (here)
Weekender (here)
Leaf Drop Earrings (here)
Black/Cream Polka Dot Scarf (here)
Coral Scarf (here
[coral no longer available, but the blue is lovely]

Lastly, I've been earning cash back on online purchases this month using Ebates.  Maybe I'm a little late, but I just started using it; if you're not familiar check it out.  You get cash back by accessing retailers through their site.  It's that simple.  If you've never tried it, consider signing up through my link.  I'll get a credit, then you can pass it on and do the same!

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Painting with a Twist

Tonight will be one of the first Thursdays in a while that haven't been occupied by an art class.  Last August I jumped back into this hobby with some formal classes, something I haven't done since high school.  After having an amazing time in an oil painting workshop (my first time with this medium!), I've been taking some fundamental drawing classes to freshen up and improve my technique.  However, after missing early registration a month ago, I'm left on my own.  I treated myself to some tulips last week, and their photographs are just begging to be brought to canvas.  While I work on that, I want to share some pics from "Painting with a Twist."

Two weeks ago I attended this one time painting class, during which participants receive step by step instruction to create a masterpiece.  You sign up for the painting you want to make beforehand when you purchase your ticket, and all you have to bring is yourself.  Although we didn't, you can also bring drinks if you choose.  You approach the painting in steps, so no experience is necessary, and before you know it you have a finished product in a couple of hours.  The franchise has locations all over the country so I recommend checking it out; it's likely there's a location near you.  I may also check out Paint Nite, a similar social event held at local bistros ands pubs.  I've been so preoccupied with future plans and work that I haven't touched my paints in a while.  This night definitely gave me some motivation, and it was great catching up with a good friend!

I honestly could have stopped with the background or at least the tree and branches.  I really like the technique the instructor recommended for creating the marbly look of the background.

Finished products!  Our take on "Zen Garden."


Monday, March 24, 2014

Pearl River Mart and the First Lady of Fabulous

Rounding out my latest trip to New York, I'm sharing some pics from another great find in the city.  After spending the morning in Brooklyn, J and I headed over to Manhattan where we found Pearl River Mart in Soho.  It's been over three years since I've been to Soho, and it was nice to revisit this shop.  Upon entering the Mart you'll find an assortment of authentic and Asian inspired clothing, accessories, novelty items, artwork, teas, decor and more.  It's definitely a great place for gifts and interesting items for living spaces.  One of my favorite pieces is this one of a kind Michelle Obama, "First Lady of Fabulous" tote bag.  I kinda regret not buying one. 

The shop also boasts a number of beautiful displays such as this indoor waterfall and an impressive collection of authentic dragon heads.  To me this one looks like Animal from the Muppets.

Pearl River Mart also has an assortment of printed papers and fabrics.  These lovely sheets were another missed opportunity for shopping.  If I could have made up my mind on which to pick, they would have been great for gift wrap, framing, or lining drawers and bookcases.

In addition to Asian art and other items, the market also boasts an assortment of novelty items like these fun denture ice trays.  They also have a nice collection of adorably packaged sweet treats.

Handmade artisanal baskets. 

I definitely recommend checking out this place if you're in the area.  Either way, it's super easy to get to.  The best way I can describe this place is "the best of Chinatown in one place!"  I know I'll be back!

Ever been here?  Find anything good?

Photo credit: JRY3 Photography

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Last Saturday J and I made another stop at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  When we went last spring the blossoms had blossomed, and there were beautiful colors everywhere.  Everything was green and vibrant.

This time around, we had a slightly different landscape.  The grass had yet to return to its bright lush state, and it was much less apparent that spring is on its way; however, I enjoyed this outdoor sanctuary just as much.  Although my "OOTD" consisted of a sweater, winter coat and Ugg boots, it was still a beautiful day. It was not nearly as cold as it's been the last few months; best of all, there was no snow!  In a way, the barrenness unmasked a beauty that exists in details; it yielded a hidden character created by time, giving a voice to small spaces.  Although it was nearly spring at the time, it was nice to see a glimpse of the garden in a different season.

We did manage to find some pops of color on our way to the bonsai museum.

And of course any trip would be incomplete without a stop at the gift shop.  Filled with books, things for the home and garden, and gifts made by Brooklyn based artisans, there is something for every age.  This time I left empty handed, but they do have a gorgeous collection of succulents in addition to other plants and terrariums.  If you've never been to BBG I highly recommend it.  It doesn't hurt that admission is often free, including most Saturdays if you arrive between 10am to 12pm like we did.  The cafe also has a really good menu; the chili is delicious!    

Last but not least, the dashing man behind the camera.

Next stop: Michelle Obama and the Pearl River Mart!

Ever been to BBG?  Thinking about going?

Photo credit: JRY3 Photography

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Adventures in Brooklyn

With the week already almost over, I figured this is as good a time as any to jump back into the blog by sharing some pictures from last weekend.  I had a great evening on Friday catching up with a good friend at "Painting with a Twist."  Saturday, I spent the day braving the streets of Brooklyn with my favorite companion.  We made another trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, followed by some sightseeing in SoHo and barbeque for dinner.  J took a lot of great photos which I'll be sharing in some upcoming posts so stay tuned!  With the first day of spring tomorrow, I'm definitely looking forward to all there is to do outdoors in nice weather.

What are your favorite places in Brooklyn?  Any suggestions?

Photo credit: JRY3 Photography
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