Friday, May 31, 2013

a Carrie moment + a giveaway

{ What I Wore: J.Crew chambray shirt // Shabby Apple tulle skirt // bhldn bow heels }
Ok, so I got this fabulous tulle skirt from Shabby Apple to wear for the second session of our engagement photos... & because, let's be honest, what girl doesn't want a tulle skirt to prance around in!? amiright?
And those said engagement photos are TODAY but I'm not sure that I am in love with what I had originally envisioned in my mind (this outfit)...
So I'm asking you fashionable ladies:
How would you style this skirt?! 
(oh & you have until 5:30 when I need to be getting dressed for picture time!!)
You should also probably start thinking of how you would style this skirt or some of the beyond adorable vintage dresses from Shabby Apple because one of you lucky ladies is going to win a $50 giftcard to their store!!
I image that all of you style-savvy ladies have had Shabby Apple on your radar for some time. But for those of you that haven't, Shabby Apple is an online dress boutique that specializes in vintage & retro dresses, including a totally enviable swim suit collection!
While I hope you win, either way, I predict you will be shopping there in no time!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

2013 Year Budget: May

For 2013 I am budgeting my clothing allowance based on the entire year. Sound crazy? Read more about it {here}
From Top: Chicnova skirt // ShoeDazzle "Adore" heels // J.Crew baseball sweater // J.Crew polka dot button down // Yes Walker purse // ShoeDazzle "Danee" sandals // BaubleBar opal earrings

This month I said I was going to shop less... remember that bold face lie from last month's budget roundup?

Something along the lines of, & I quote: 
"I know that I am going to have to think extra hard about any unnecessary spending going forward"

Well I DID think long & hard about all my spending this month, but I wouldn't deem all of my purchases "necessary"... 
However, I do love them & believe that I am building the curated closet of my dreams.

This month I picked up the "Going to the Chapel Skirt" from Shabby Apple ($78.00), a Yes Walker purse (currently sold out, worn here), this hot pink Chicnova floral lace skirt (worn here, go up 1 size if you don’t want it to be painted on), a personalized Lisa Leonard Key Necklace & two Old Navy tees on clearance (this & this, each were $6!).

I shopped the J.Crew sale for a polka dot button down (worn here) & linen baseball sweater  (worn here) (J.Crew retail $193 - sale = $97.49!!), & visited my friend's closet sale, scoring a J.Crew Factory dress for only $5 (worn here).

I also finally used some credits from my favorite shops. Picking up these BaubleBar Opal Earrings (worn here, $16), & ShoeDazzle “Adore” heels ($35.95 – 30% = $25.17) & “Danee” wedges (worn here, $29.90 - VIP credits = $6.05; I recommend going down a ½ size)

So the retail damage was $374.90, but I took it all home for $234.71 (That's like a 40% off discount!!)

So how am I doing this year??

Year total budget $3,000
-January  $149.94
-February $241.71
-March $245.50
-April $187.37
-May $234.71
Remaining = $1,940.77

How did your May budget turn out??
Fill any closet holes??

P.S. I am linking up with my monthy shopaholics anonymous meeting hosted by Franish {here}

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

awkwardly awesome

{ What I Wore: J.Crew polka dot button down // Purse c/o YesWalker // Arden B. leatherette shorts // ShoeDazzle "Danee" sandals // UO attitude glasses // Boutique Onze "Leo" necklace }
{ Get the Look }
polka dot blouse {$69.50 // $19.80} + crossbody bag {$28.00} + leather shorts {$17.80} + sandals {"Danee" $27.97} + glasses {$14.00} + zodiac necklace {$30.00}
I know Awkward & Awesome is historically a Thursday event, but with the popularity of Throwback Thursday, #tbt for those in the know, I think A&A needs a new date!
So let's talk some A&A today!
- Having a sunburn & an obvious white "W" on my back... guess that is one spot that I could reach...?

- Getting caught taking outfit photos by a police officer & told to leave... I so did not want to have to explain what I was doing! Guess my secret spot isn't so secret anymore!

- I tried out the Sally Hansen at home gel mani kit, but after 2 days, one of those being completely spent in the lake, all 10 peeled off... whomp whomp (I do think I am going to try it again now that I'm not going to be fully aquatic for a while!)

- The AC in our townhouse is currently broken... sweaty hot mess is the new comfortably air conditioned. Go ahead, ask the pugs how much fun we are having... 

- My bestie was in town this weekend & we ate, drank, boated, & tried on Wedding Dresses!!!! This whole "I'm getting married" thing just got real, in a super awesome way!

- Um, Memorial Day... it. was. legit. (Tuesday back at work, not so much!)

- The boyfriend fiancé (<-- I need to get better about that!) just brought me a glass of the beer he personally made for me... YUM!

- These new ShoeDazzle sandals (the "Danee")! When I first got them they were a half-size too big, but these perfectly fitting babies just arrived at my doorstep & they ain't ever leaving my feets!
Other things that are awesome!? Giveaways!
I'm hosing a fab necklace giveaway from Cat & Bot {here}
I'm also a part of the glorious Living in Yellow Group Giveaway {here}

What has been awkward & awesome in your life friends??

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

workable closet

I have been hanging on to these tear outs from the InStyle October 2010 Issue because I was so impressed... & that was even before I started a blog, or thought about challenging myself with a 30X30 Remix.

28 outfits from 15 key pieces!!
Are you as inspired as me?!
Here & Now: Workable Closet Series | 28 days of outfits using 15 key pieces
Here & Now: Workable Closet Series | 28 days of outfits using 15 key pieces
Here & Now: Workable Closet Series | 28 days of outfits using 15 key pieces
Here & Now: Workable Closet Series | 28 days of outfits using 15 key pieces
Here & Now: Workable Closet Series | 28 days of outfits using 15 key pieces
Here & Now: Workable Closet Series | 28 days of outfits using 15 key pieces
Here & Now: Workable Closet Series | 28 days of outfits using 15 key pieces
Here & Now: Workable Closet Series | 28 days of outfits using 15 key pieces
Here & Now: Workable Closet Series | 28 days of outfits using 15 key pieces
Here & Now: Workable Closet Series | 28 days of outfits using 15 key pieces
Sorry no real post today! My brain is still fried from all the sun I got last weekend & Photoshop was refusing to tell me what was wrong with it... 
Just didn't want to waste the good post I had on my mind on a frustrated half-assery!

P.S. Cat from the lovely Etsy shop Cat & Bot is hosting a Giveaway right now, have you entered??

Monday, May 27, 2013

Summer Kick-off Party

Happy Memorial Day! I hope everyone is having a fabulous long weekend!
I'm actually participating in the real world practice of observing government holidays & took today off from lab! The frogs will just have to wait! And I felt GREAT about my executive decision to sleep in this morning! (on a Monday - the scandal!)
I have my bestie in town & while we have already been shopping & boating & eating our happy little hearts out, the party isn't over!
We will have lots of hanging out to do today & I'm thrilled that I'm not having to waste time stressing about stocking all the festive supplies.
Not only did I load up on affordable grilling goodies, but I took care of all my personal care needs at Kroger.

Sunscreen - check (just ask my shoulders how many times I have actually remembered to re-apply it though... whoops!)
Tide stain pen - check (a necessity around me + burgers, or nature! I should buy these in bulk)
Advil - check (to keep going on day 2 & 3
Kroger paper towels - check (currently 10 for $10 - loaded up for beer pong spills!)
I can save time & money by shopping for all of my food & personal care items at Kroger.
My favorite part!? Loading up lots of digital coupons to my Kroger card by visiting their promotions page before each time I shop.
It really adds up & I LOVE seeing the huge dollar amount that I am saving each trip at the bottom of my receipt! 

Don't for get to hit up the Kroger 2X Fuel Point Promotion either! Download the digital coupon for 2X Fuel Points {here} & make your Summer road-trips to farther!
One list. One trip. More rewards.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Shopping: white hot heat

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10
Calling all white clothing (& stain pens) - come out of your dark closet recesses & into the light!
Summer is here!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

weekend reading: 5.25.13

1 // 2 // 3 
This weekend why don't you :: grab your biggest sunhat, cutest bikini & most fun sunnies to ring in Summer in style?

{1.} I just got my 1st Julep Maven box {instagramed} & love my "Classic with a Twist" colors! I think this is going to be my new subscription now that my Birchbox membership has expired. If you are thinking about signing up for Julep, use my link so I can fuel my new obsession!

{2.} So excited to be traveling to NYC in 3 weeks! Wishing I could take this capsule wardrobe with me! 

{3.} Pull out your white-tees & link up with me & Real Girl Glam for the White Tee Challenge!

{4.} This is the outfit I want to be living in for the rest of the Summer. What is your Summer dream outfit?

{5.} If you are a bride to be, or have girlfriends that are planning their big day, hop on over and enter to win a pair of tickets to an upcoming NotWedding event (what a fun concept!)

{6.} Cat from the lovely Etsy shop Cat & Bot is hosting a Giveaway right now, have you entered??

How about those Memorial Day Sales?!
{Alphbetized for your purusing pleasure}
Anthropologie - new items added to sale & free shipping
ASOS - 20% off everything, code "TAKE20"
BaubleBar - free gift with $40+ purchase
Cusp by Neiman Marcus dress sale, all under $150 (& fabulous I might add!)
Daisy Rae Boutique - 20% off Sale with code "SALE"
eShakti - Memorial Day Sale - Up to 50% off + Free customization on all orders!
Furbish is 15% off with code "LONGWEEKEND" - stock up on goodies for your home or hostess/wedding gifts!
Gap - up to 40% off, code "GAPGIFT"
J.Crew - up to $75 off your purchase with code "SHOPNOW"
J.Crew Factory - 40% off EVERYTHING online (in stores, enjoy 50% off!)
Old Navy - 20% your purchase, up to 40% off sale, code "ONSUMMER"
Rebecca Minkoff Memorial Day Event - it is my dream to own one of these!
ShoeDazzle - 20% off full priced items, 30% off sale prices
Shopbop Sale - I'll take this polka dot sweater, & this necklace & this dress please!

If you have the deets on any other killer sales, be sure to share them in the comments, 'cause that's what friends do!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

White Tee Challenge & a Giveaway

These days I am having so much fun incorporating color into my warm weather outfits.
Regardless of my progress embracing neutrals, the white tee will always be a staple in my closet. As the perfect foundation to layer ALL THE COLORS, the white tee has been a favorite of mine lately!
{What I Wore: J.Crew tank + sweater // boutique skirt // Seychelles Shoes via Ma Petite Shoes }

Be sure to check out the White Tee Challenge Link-up & share your white tee outfit too!
Not only is the white tee a favorite of mine lately but the simply stunning jewelry of Cat & Bot is totally catching my eye! Enter to win a necklace of your choice, but good luck not falling in love with all of their selection!!

White Tee Challenge

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Inspired: Engagement Photos & a giveaway

Tyler & I had a blast shooting our first engagement photos with the lovely Jessica of Jessica Ranae Photography a couple of weekends ago. After getting our first scheduled shoot rained out, Nashville seriously delivered the gorgeous weather for our second attempt!
Our goal for engagement pictures was to capture us in our natural states. Nothing overly done, just us, loving each other, with gorgeous lighting, in a more rustic setting. The pictures above served as the inspiration for our shoot & you can see all of these photos & more ideas on my Wedding Pinterest board here.

We have gotten a sneak peek of the pictures from our photographer & I am obsessed!
This is one of our favorites from what we have seen so far... more to come soon!
Wedding planning is trucking right along & I am having a blast soaking up all the delicious inspiration from Pinterest, wedding blogs & the "real life" weddings that I have found on the internets.
Just this week I learned about the "NotWedding" on Ruffled & even won a pair of tickets to their upcoming event in Nashville!
The NotWedding is a bridal show alternative where "wedding guests" enjoy a ceremony, dinner & dance-party reception while experiencing fabulous wedding vendors in action!

Now NotWedding wants to give YOU a chance to attend too!
The NotWedding is giving away 5 pairs of tickets to any of their future events: New York, Cape Cod, Charleston, Atlanta, Nashville, Athens and Wichita. 
Just leave your name below and let us know which event you’d like to attend!

P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a $50 gift card to Lisa Leonard's fabulous shop {here}!!

P.P.S. Get your white tee looks together for the Real Girl Glam Link-up starting tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

curated closet 102: filling closet holes

One of the goals behind starting this blog was to chronicle my journey towards building a versatile closet that will transition with me as I finish graduate school & into a future professional career.

I certainly do not have it all figured out yet. But it looks like I am not the only one struggling with the notion of a curated closet, filled with things you LOVE not just like.
This realization that we have much to learn from each other, kicked off my curated closet series.
In the first class we learned about how to avoid impulse shopping
And now we are expounding upon one of the points from CC 101: Identifying holes in your closet.
 I think I can safely say that no one reading my blog (including myself) needs clothes. Sure there are some versatile pieces that if you had, would maximize the use of your other clothes. But how do you pinpoint what these pieces are?

{1.} Get ready to try things on. Fix your hair, put some make-up on, turn the tunes up. When you look good, you feel good & this will make point #2 much easier!

{2.} Put it on your body. No ifs, &s, or buts about it. Sure you loved with when you bought it, but how about now? You won't know until you see it on your body!

{3}. Determine remix potential. While you have on each piece, play dress up in your closet. Consider belting tops, layering dresses, or dressing pants up & down.
Looking for inspiration of how wardrobe basics can be remixed, check out my "wear closet staples" Pinterest board!

{4.} Does it fit? Is it flattering? Really, is it? Turn around, bend over, sit down, stand up. Do you have shoes to wear it with? Can you tuck in your shirts if you want to?

{5.} Can it be fixed? So maybe the hem length is off, or the width of sleeves is no longer on-trend. Consider ways that you could tweak these items yourself (hello Pinterest tutorials!), or swing by a tailor to get an estimate for how much these updates will cost.

{6.} Sort as you go. Make piles of "stay", "donate", "sell", etc. As you compile these sub-sets, make a note of what you are getting rid of, & therefore what might become "holes"

{7.} Toss "closet crutches". Before I purchased the Madewell leopard flats that have rarely left my feet over the past month, I resisted purchasing new leopard flats because I had a 6 year old pair from Target. They were falling apart & I didn't totally LOVE them, but having them in my closet deterred me from replacing them, they were a closet crutch!

{8.} Be brutal. You are building your dream closet. If you haven't worn it, it isn't flattering &/or doesn't fit within what you imagine for your dream closet GET. RID. OF. IT. Maybe you could make some extra cash on eBay or Poshmark in the process!

{9.} List "wardrobe completers". Now you have gotten ride of "closet crutches" & identified pieces that will make your existing items re-mixable, write down these holes that will be "wardrobe completers" & take it with you next time you go shopping!
Maybe it is a casual blazer to layer over Summer dresses, or a colorful skinny belt that will give your tunic tops a whole new life!

Whether you are ready to tackle your closet now or plan to have a future date identifying "wardrobe holes" pin this handy guide you get you started!

Have you seen my Wardrobe Staple List that started it all? 
Check out the original post here & my shopping recommendations here.

Next week I will be sharing the "wardrobe completers" that I identified since first posting my 50 Wardrobe Staples shopping list!

Right now, I have my eye on some layer-able silk tanks for with skirts now & under cardigans later!
What "wardrobe completers" are you shopping for to pull your existing items together?

P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a $50 gift card to Lisa Leonard's fabulous shop {here}!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Madewell evolution

My heart aches for all those devastated by the the Oklahoma tornado, I am praying for comfort & healing to those mourning lost loved ones & a destroyed community.
If you are looking for ways to help,
text "storm" to 80888 to make a $10 donation to the Salvation Army
or "RedCross" to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross
{ What I Wore: Boutique Onze striped dress // ShoeMint pumps // souvenir scarf from Venice }
{ Get the Look }
striped dress {$69.99} + Madewell scarf {$18.50} + belt {$12.99} + leopard shoes {a splurge but so cute!}
In college, I would say that my style was definitely "J.Crew". Preppy, classic, lots of pink + green.
I don't know if style blogging, growing up, or living in Nashville is the reason, but recently I have noticed that my style is trending toward being more "Madewell". Mixed prints, masculine + feminine pairings, & "global" accents.
So am I now "uptown"? Or was I already "downtown" & now I'm "midtown"?!
Well whatever it is, I better figure it out before I head to NYC next month (!!!!!)
That's RIGHT!
My sister & I are headed to New York City to go wedding dress shopping in June!
Before this, I have only been to the Big Apple for a few hours during a layover, so I am looking to you fashionably well traveled ladies to tell me everything that we need to do & see over the long weekend (June 21-24).

I am also thinking that I might need to save some time for a blogger happy hour while there, 
so if you are in the area, stay tuned!
Is there a store that is your style aesthetic?
I would love to hear if others share this way of defining their style too!

P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a $50 gift card to Lisa Leonard's fabulous shop {here}!!

P.P.S. I am linking up with Style Elixir's Style Sessions today

Monday, May 20, 2013

Officially Un-Official Summer

Memorial Day might only be the un-official start of Summer, but it is official enough for me!
To un-officially kick Summer off I am looking forward to having my bestie come to Nashville for a visit & enjoying fun in the sun on pontoon boat with 20 of my closet friends.
While the old Jessica would let all of this planning stress her out, I am letting the new laid-back, Summer mode Jessica take over on this one.
Here & Now : White Hot Summer
Laid-back Jessica knows that she can hit up Kroger for all the goodies that make Summer entertaining stress-free all while earning 2X Summer Fuel Points to make my road-trip travels easy & affordable. 
Here & Now Officially Un-Official Summer
While shopping for Summer personal care necessities like sunscreen, stain pens (for all that white) & deorderant & entertaining staples like trash bags & toilet paper is less than sexy, I can feel good about saving money & earning gas discounts by shopping at Kroger!
Here & Now : White Hot Summer
My first stop? The digital Kroger coupon circular! I can build my shopping list from home using the Kroger app & earn 2X fuel points with their ongoing Summer deal!
Done & done.
Here & Now : White Hot Summer
Here & Now : White Hot Summer
What are your Summer entertaining essentials? 
How do you save money & still pull off chic get-togethers?!

 I am looking forward to sharing more about how Kroger can make your summer soirĂ©es affordable & easy... stay tuned!
What are your Summer entertaining & cooking questions? I would love to talk more about it in future posts!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own