Tuesday, April 30, 2013

2013 Year Budget: April

For 2013 I am budgeting my clothing allowance based on the entire year. Sound crazy? Read more about it { here }
Disclaimer: all of these purchases were made before Ty & I started seriously thinking about our wedding 
(AKA realized how much it costs!)
While I employed my smart shopping tips & am super pleased with everything that came home with me this month, I know that I am going to have to think extra hard about any unnecessary spending going forward... 
saying that here on the internet will hopefully keep me accountable!

My three Old Navy sundresses (pink // neon // stripe) have already gotten a lot of action here on the blog (wore pink here & here, neon here & striped here) & I plan on keeping them on heavy rotation right on into Spring (especially with my new teal necklace c/o Hello Fab)
3 sundresses = $70.00 (purchased with 30% off coupon, retail value = $94.82)

My package from J.Crew Factory just arrived so I haven't really had a chance to wear these pieces much, unless you call styling outfits in my bathroom "wearing"

I got the ballet wellies to replace of my previous pair that I literally wore into the ground, much less clunky to wear during these Spring showers & highly recommended by me!

J.Crew Factory: eyelet skirt // ballet wellies // striped tank // black tank = $117.37 
(purchased with 40% off coupon, retail value = $223.50)

April Purchases:
Retail value = $318.32
Amount spent = $187.37

Total year clothing budget = $3,000
- January $149.94
- February $241.71
- March $245.50
- April $187.37
Remaining 2013 Budget = $2,175.48

Fellow budgeters, how did you do this month?
Get any goodies that the rest of us should know about!?

P.S. I am linking up with my monthly shopaholics budgeting group hosted by Franish, 
see more budgeting bloggers right over here

Monday, April 29, 2013

the perfect date

{What I Wore: J.Crew jacket // Old Navy rockstar skinny jeans & ballet flats // H&M polka dot top (similar) // Matt & Nat vegan leather purse (similar) }
I like when my friends get up before me & post their cute outfits on Instagram... makes getting ready a breeze!
Also, my fiancé remembers quotes from every movie he has ever seen & was the one to remind me about the perfect date - April 25th
So I put on my light jacket & enjoyed this quintessential Spring day!
I don't know what Doug & I were looking at, probably our neighbors creeping on our photo shoot!
Have you ever been inspired by Instagram to get dressed in the morning?
What is the perfect day for you?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Shopping: word to your mother

This is your friendly reminder that Mother's Day is coming up & it is time to get your shop on!
How about some minty fresh picks for the deserving woman in your life?
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7
some jewels for her neck
a sassy new outfit for her phone
a reminder of your love on her wrist
a chic pouch for the mom on the go
gorgoeus earrings to glam up everyday outfits
a pretty notebook for her purse
or flats that she would never buy herself, but will be her new favorites!

What is on your Mom's wishlist this year?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

weekend reading: 4.27.13

1 // 2 // 3
this weekend why don't you :: practice braiding your hair for warmer months ahead

Sorry for the lack of outfit posts this week (only 1, but it was a good one, right!?)
 My camera threw a temper tantrum & decided to stop focusing via remote for a few days. We have since made up & Mr. Camera appears to be back to his old dapper self (!!!)

I actually like creating new content that isn't just focused around an outfit.
Whether you caught the post on overalls or not this week, you should take a second to read through some of the comments (they are HILAR) & share your own two-cents as well!

This week also featured a local Nashvillian blogger, my furbabies, & my hunt for the perfect LWD.

Ok, now on to some of my other favorite links I ran across this week:

1. Jessica just wrote a great post about liking vs loving your mate... you love him, but do you like him? 

2. 25 ways to promote your blog posts... some are easy things you can start doing today!

3. I didn't know it was possible, but I am now even MORE obsessed with Jenna Lyons (psst.. did you see the new arrivals? I want everything in this happy print!) 

4. ManRepeller the book!? What's next, Leandra for President 2016?!

5. Are YOU a professional blogger? (I didn't think so, but I guess based on that I am...?!) 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Q&A being/ELLIOTT

Today I'm thrilled to introduce you to a fellow Nashville blogger, Brynn of Being/Elliott. As I mentioned in my collaboration post with former Nashvillian blogger Rachel, Brynn, Rachel & I had wonderful plans to meet up & then Rachel was hit by a truck (true story!)

Why Brynn & I still haven't met yet doesn't make any sense & is just a travesty, but after reading her A's to my Q's, I know that it is inevitable!

Brynn has been to several NYC fashion weeks, interned at Harper's Bazaar in New York & writes for multiple publications including LOLO Magazine! Get it Girl!

Meet your new style muse:
1. When/Why did you start Being/Elliott?
I started Being/Elliott in 2010 in order to have a platform to express my creative thoughts and ideas. A blog is a perfect way to showcase creative, encouraging messages!

One of my goals is to show readers and viewers what is out there fashion-wise for the taking, often at little cost, for those bold enough to embrace their own personal style. For example, I share how I go to thrift stores to get a great look for less money. I like to avoid spending thousands of dollars and I want to let others know it's OK to do that!

I also want to give people the confidence to discover their inner style: the beautiful gift God has given them which shines through, regardless of what they are wearing. I want people to be adventuresome enough to embrace and celebrate that God-given style.

2. How would you describe your personal style?

I would say my style is classic minimalism with a vintage kick!
I heartily encourage being thrifty! My personal style is a mix of high and low end items. I mix new items with vintage and thrifted pieces. I want to give readers the confidence to discover new ways to be stylish and express themselves in a fashionable way.

3. Quantity or Quality?
Quality. Always. It's best to have basic quality classics to anchor your look instead of a lot of poor quality goods which do not wear well.

4. What 5 items define your style?
A statement piece of jewelry. I love my ring from Eometrie Handmade.

A handsome pair of jeans. I love this pair from Imogene + Willie.

A formidable clutch, like this lovely one from Red Earth Trading Co.

A sophisticated coat. (I thrive in the cold) I adore this structured number from Pierson Arkins.

...And, of upmost importance...a bold lipstick! I adore this shade from Revlon (Wine with Everything).

5. You have lived in both NYC & Nashville. What elements of your style are influenced by each city?
I love incorporating each city's unique aesthetic into my daily wardrobe choices!

From New York, I take cutting edge sophistication, whether it's in the form of classic stilettos with jeans or a structured coat. New Yorkers always look clean and polished and I try to keep up ;)

The Nashville component is where my vintage flare comes from.There is a great sense of history in Nashville. Nashville is also a history book of fabulous vintage stores, like Local Honey and Savant Vintage. With so many shops, I've been able to collect a substantial vintage collection. I pair these one-of-a-kind pieces with more modern clothing and a perfect marriage is born....in fashion heaven. Yeee-hawh!

6. What is the best part about blogging?
Sharing with others! I enjoy giving advice or sharing products from companies I really have a passion for. I also like interacting with my precious readers. They are a very intelligent bunch who give me great ideas! I love love love my readers!

7. You have featured some amazing products/brands on your blog. How do you go about reaching out to artisans/companies?
I start by being kind to people. This is the most important step. Being complimentary and kind is important to developing any relationship or collaboration. I've found a lot of amazing companies simply from friendships I have created over the years. I love sharing what I love with others, so if I have friends who are artisans or designers, I'm excited to tell my viewers all about their creations!

8. Nashville is known for its hot humid summers, what make-up and/or hair products keep you looking fresh in the summer? Tips appreciated!
First of all, I hardly ever blow-dry my hair, which can create breakage which leads to frizzy locks. That helps my hair be significantly healthier and less frizzy in humidity. I highly recommend taking a break from the constant blow-outs, flat irons or curling devices. - Embrace your God-given texture!
You can even spritz that style with a tamer to settle your look!

Make up should be minimal and lightly applied in the heat, also. It can be a light base/ blush/lip gloss and touch of mascara. Don't forget that base of sunscreen!!!!!

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I have a lot of ideas of what I want to ultimately do, but, more than anything, I want to be joyful and always think of others. That's something we should all strive for, no matter how "grown-up" we become!

Photo credit:  Kat + Em via The Refined Woman
Doesn't she sound like a complete sweetheart that you want to go on a vintage/thrift store treasure hunt ASAP!?
Check out more of her & her fabulous blog here!
Or follow along on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

P.S. Brynn & I swapped blogs today, & you can check out my interview on her site here!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Shop It To Me: The LWD

Here & Now: The Little White Dress
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6
With my wedding date picked & venue booked, now my eyes are set on some of the more fun things of getting engaged: taking pictures with my man friend, celebrating with friends & tasting cakes (seriously, there is no way that is going to suck!)

And I just feel like many of these occasions require a LWD.
I have been looking around for the LBD's chic & sassy sister but the picken's be slim.
Do you have a Little White Dress? 
Where did you procure this hidden gem!?

P.S. Time to get serious, it is the last day to enter the J.Crew gift card giveaway (two of the dresses above are J.Crew beauts!)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

trends that make you go hmm... overalls

Is it just me, or have overalls been popping up like crazy lately?!
Long, short dungarees, rolled, layered, colorful or classic (can that last one even be said about overalls) - these babies appear to be going mainstream.
1 // 2 // 3 // 4
Maybe it is just a Fashion Week phenomenon (like that idiotic cape-jacket thing that renders your arms completely useless), or a Man Repeller Thing (it does appear that overalls inspired her first tome), or a 90s comeback invasion.

But I have to ask: Are Overalls a trend that you will be trying out?
Personally, I think my foray into overalls peaked in 1997 & dangit I wish I had a picture to prove it, because I'm pretty sure I rocked the crap out of them!

On board with overalls?
Get your fix with these picks below, or scout out a vintage pair at your local thrift shop/flea market

P.S. It's not to late to enter to win a J.Crew gift card here !!
(on second thought, it J.Crew sells overalls, I would totally think about getting a pair!!)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Frill & Folly: Gatsby Era


Can we talk about how excited I am for the new Great Gatsby movie?
My childhood crush Leo DiCaprio, cool girl Carey Mulligan & flapper style that I'm sure will leave me trying to justify wearing feathery headbands & lacy slip dresses for every day life!

I love the whole production surround big Hollywood movies & can't wait to see the stars turn out in glitz & glam for this premiere! 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10
I always wonder what era my style aestetic would be most "at home" & I think as much of a magpie (attracted to ALL things sparkly!) I can be, the roaring 20s would be the bee's knees!

(tied with my love of boho style that leaves me wishing I could have been alive during the flower child 70s)

In what era is your soul happiest?
What Hollywood blockbusters are you looking forward to this summer?

P.S. don't forget to enter the giveaway for a J.Crew gift card here

Monday, April 22, 2013

blog dogs: Scout & Doug

While I am waiting on my pugs' modeling careers to kick off so I can take an early retirement, I am happy to take 100s of pictures a day & brag about them to all my friends.
I am over the moon that my blogging friend Sam is featuring Scout & Doug on her Blog Dogs Series today.
The pugs put a lot into their interview answers & you can check it all out here

CMYK

{ What I Wore: necklace c/o Hello Fab // J.Crew sweater // Old Navy dress // Target wedges }
{ Get the Look }
necklace {$23.99} + sweater {$24.99} + dress {$34.94} + wedges {$24.99}
I do not have any official background in art or design, but there are certain colors that just speak to me & look appealing to my eye.
In college my Freshman year dorm room was expertly curated in hot pink & neon green.
There are still many left-over things in my apartment in this color scheme & it takes me straight back to 2005.
When I get dressed, I pick out a base color & then mix & match colors until it feels right.
This dress is in heavy rotation in my Spring wardrobe (previously worn here) & to visit wedding venues with Ty this past weekend I wanted something bright & cheerful.
(psst... we found a venue!!)
The pink dress + yellow sweater alone was just not doing it for me, so I searched for another color to throw into the mix. This teal necklace spoke to me from my necklace stand & when I put it on, my "color eye" was happy!
The end result? A CMYK dream.

How do you pick out which colors to pair in your outfits?
What is you go-to color combo currently?

P.S. Don't forget to enter to win a J.Crew Gift Card here

Friday, April 19, 2013

Spotlight: My Confidence + Me

Good morning! TGIF! & all that wonderful stuff!
Today I have the pleasure of casting the Spotlight on Shay of My Confidence + Me .
Shay is a native Bostonian now living in D.C. (which just experienced gorgeous cherry blossom madness).
I just knew that we were meant to be blogging buddies when I found about her love of trying new craft beers & the singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson (where the name of her blog came from... read more here)

Ok, enough from me, let's learn about what makes Shay giddy about getting dressed everyday:

Chambray + camo, classic tweedy jackets, a love of mint jeans & a chic new bob... this is a blogger you need to have on your radar!
{ 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 }
One thing that I have learned while getting to know Shay is that she is just as sweet as she is fashionable! As a "hi, nice to meet you wonderful people", Shay is giving away a $30 J.Crew giftcard! 
(This giveaway is open to any readers in countries that are serviced by J.Crew shipping. You can find out if you are included on their website.)


P.S. Did you catch March's spotlight post on Jonna?
Interested in being in the Blogger Spotlight? Learn more here or email me to get started!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

it's a wrap




{ What I Wore: wrap c/o Posh'mina // Old Navy vest + dress // Nine West heels // J.Crew belt // Nisolo bag }
{Get the Look}
wrap {$40.00} + vest {$34.80} + dress {$34.94, exact} + wedges {$148.00} + belt {$35.00} + leather tote {$138.00}
This month I picked up 3 sundresses from Old Navy on super sale.
While I wanted about 5 more dresses, I employed some of my own tips for cutting out impulse shopping... & it worked! 
The three dresses that came to live with me (today's dress, striped worn here, neon worn here) have been on heavy repeat already this Spring, with dreams of many more outfits flying around my head.

I'm telling you people, fill your closet with things you LOVE (not like) - it's a lifestyle!
And your "I have nothing to wear" days might just be on their way out!


On the list of things that I LOVE? 
This zig-zag scarf Posh'mina (previously worn here)! 
And you are in luck because there is a fabulous giveaway running for you to win your very own Posh'mina hybrid scarf right now! 
Enter {here}

Posh'mina also has a public service announcement for you:
Don't forget about Mother's Day coming up (& don't let Mom forget who is her favorite!)

The Miss Mosaic & Muse wraps are now at a discounted price in honor of chic Moms everywhere!

What have you picked up using your smart shopping skills lately?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

counter intuitive

Sorry for not posting yesterday - as you might have seen on Twitter, I just didn't feel like coming out from under the covers & serving up my bubble gum happy fashion post in light of the horrific events in Boston. 

When life gets me down or my energy levels plummet after weeks of trying to keep up with a puppy, it is my tendency to crawl into bed & not want to come out.

However, that just gets me into a viscous cycle of dark & stormy thoughts - worrying, stressing about things SO very out of my control, getting anxious about the big bad world that looms outside my door.

As simple as it sounds - getting up, fixing my hair, putting on a cute top & going about my productive day is what puts me at ease.

Look good, feel good, do good.
It's not a lot, but it is what I can do & I have to start with what I have.
{ What I Wore: Wallis blouse // ModCloth mint jeans // Steve Madden nude pumps }
This is my first kimono top & I am officially adding it to the list of simple things that make me happy.
What is a simple thing that makes you happy?

P.S. There is a fabulous giveaway running for a Posh'mina hybrid scarf right now!
enter {here}

Don't forget about Mother's Day coming up! Posh'mina is offering the Miss Mosaic & Muse at a discounted price in honor of chic Moms & Moms-in-law everywhere!


See all your options here & make Mom remember why you’re her favorite. 
(psssst... Your order ships out the next day and for free in U.S. and Canada!)

Monday, April 15, 2013

that girl

Here & Now : bold black & white
{ What I Wore: Old Navy dress // Gap jacket (psst... I found mine on eBay) // Target wedges // Golden Ponies leopard clutch }
Here & Now : bold black & white
I talked about my love for bold black & white stripes yesterday & here is the proof!
I actually saw the inspiration for this outfit on Instagram & knew that this dress needed to be in my closet ASAP! (looks like this dress is currently sold out in b&w, but totally worth stalking for a re-stock)
Here & Now : bold black & white
I am so happy that I jumped on this graphic dress & scored it for a song on one of those perpetual Old Navy sales. But I have a little secret for making Old Navy dresses look more luxe than they actually are - a slip.
Here & Now : bold black & white
Yup, that old fashioned thing that your granny wears.
A slip makes your dress un-see-through, prevents VPL (visible pantie lines), & gives you peace of mind that your dress will not stick to your legs after sitting down during a hot Southern summer.

I'm that girl that my friends make fun of for pulling out her slip to get ready to go out to the clubs, but I won't leave town with out it!
Here & Now : bold black & white
Here & Now : bold black & white
Are you a slip believer?
Doesn't seem like many stores still sell this undervalued undergarment, any tips for places for ladies look for a slip?

P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a fabulous Posh'mina hybrid scarf here!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Shopping: go for the bold

Here & Now : bold black & white
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 
I am actually very excited about the Spring trends!

Floral Explosion, Baseball hat chic, B&W everything & Camo are all easily implement-able into my closet... 
but the one I have embraced first? Bold black & white stripes!
I picked up this Old Navy dress on super sale (if you aren't getting your Old Navy purchase on sale, you are doing it wrong) & just know that it is going to be a rockstar in my Spring wardrobe.
What Spring trend are you most looking forward to?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

weekend reading: 4.13.13

Left // Middle // Right
this weekend why don't you : rock a skirt you can twirl in

{1.} Easy to chew tips from some of the best bloggers in the biz. What's the best blog advice you ever got?

{2.} Alt Summit for everyone!? 

{3.} Stylish overalls... isn't that an oxymoron? What are your thoughts on this fashion comeback?

{4.} The summer accessory on the top of my wish list? A fab Panama Hat. Here are 12 ways I am dying to wear it!

{5.} Why do you blog? Is it all a numbers game

{6.} I Love this idea for a blogger/brand collaboration! 

{7.} I'm a little bit Country, she's a little bit City. Check out my collaboration with the lovely Rachel here!

{8.} The blossoms are here... the most beautiful time of the year!

Friday, April 12, 2013

highlighter & a giveaway

Yes, this dress naturally fluoresces.
I don't think it is technically neon, but I tamed it down with some basic neutrals - just to be safe!
Here & Now : neon + neutrals
{ What I Wore: Old Navy dress // Nisolo tote // Nine West sandals (similar, from Nisolo) // J.Crew cashmere hooded sweater, bought on super sale ages ago! }
Here & Now : neon + neutrals
Holy cannoli, THE bag is MINE! Mwhahahahaa (<-- that's my evil laugh)

After months of hemming & hawing (official terms there), I took the plunge & brought home a classic leather tote, with clean lines, soft leather & a match-everything rich brown color.
I am beyond happy with my purchase. 

The bag itself is the perrrrrrfect size for toting around my camera, wallet, 17 lip products that I insist on carrying at all times, possible dog accessories & has a separate pocket for storing keys & iPhone (the first things that typically go missing in the dark abysses of purses)
Here & Now : neon + neutrals
I am also super ecstatic that instead of caving & getting the blog-popular Madewell version, I supported a brand that is not only connected to a friend of mine, but also has a beyond worthy cause - Nisolo.

If you haven't had the chance to check out Nisolo yet, I hope you will.
In keeping with yesterday's post about smart shopping, these quality leather goods will be total work horses in your closet. 
And to get you started, Nisolo is offering 10% off your first purchase with the code "WearChange"
Here & Now : neon + neutrals
Another fabulous brand that you KNOW Scout & I lurve is Posh'mina (see our feature here).
And the lovely ladies behind the genius invention that is the Posh'mina, want to give YOU your own scarf to be draped, wrapped, belted & rocked this Spring (or given to your beautiful mom for Mother's Day.. hint hint)


Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

curated closet: road to recovery

Hi my name is Jessica & I am addicted to shopping.

There were so many other shopaholic confessions on Tuesday's post that I wanted to take some time to address the issue further.

Looks like I am not the only one struggling with the notion of a curated closet, filled with things you LOVE not just like.
Here & Now : Wardrobe Staples
The List that started it all - check out the original post here & my shopping recommendations here
-----------------------------------------------------
So how do you switch your mind-set from fast fashion oriented to building the closet of your dreams?
Here are 10 tips to achieving closet nirvana:
 (many brought up in the comment section of this post)

1. Set a budget. So this one isn't Earth shattering. The "experts" say you should be spending no more than 4% of your take-home pay on optional expenses (i.e. clothes). You know your money situation better than me, so I am not going to toss out any numbers here. What really matters is that you set a concrete budget, with in your means & stick to it, no putting it on your credit card or nothing! When you run out, stop.

2. Identify holes in your closet. I think I can safely say that no one reading my blog (including myself) needs clothes. But sure there are some versatile pieces that if you had, would maximize the use of your other clothes. Maybe some wardrobe staples that you are lacking?

3. Make a list. Ok, so you have identified some holes in your closet. But what do you need now, this season? What other trendy items are you wanting to snatch up?
Write it down. Put it in your wallet. Make a note on your phone.

My shopping list for May looks something like this:
Closet holes to fill:
- black bikini
- quality leather sandals

Trendy items to keep an eye out for a good deal:
- floral pants
- stripe peplum top

Give yourself a mission. When you know what you are looking for, your mind is less likely to wander. If it isn't on your list, ask yourself why before proceeding (see also #6, #8, #9)

4. Don't shop alone. I can't be the only one that is guilty of walking into Target to get toothpaste & walking out $100 poorer. But somehow, when Ty goes with me, I only get the toothpaste (& maybe 1 new scarf!). If you can't trust yourself to stick to your budget & mission, bring someone along - not your friend that tells you everything looks good on your, but some one who is going to ask you, "Do you really need that?" while giving you judge-y eyes.

5. Stop putting things in your online cart just so you can get free shipping. Just stop it already. If you aren't willing to pay for shipping to get it, you don't really want it. 

6. Sleep on it. Cut those impulses down to size.

7. Organize your closet. If you are having the shopping itch (i.e. just put way too many items in your J.Crew online shopping cart <-- GUILTY), go organize your closet. You will find new items that you will be exited to wear & maybe identify some holes (#2) to shop for in the future.

8. Imagine 3 outfits with what you are about to purchase. If you are going to get the most out of your closet, each piece needs to play well with the others. (for inspiration see my Pinterest board here)

9. Calculate the cost/wear. Sure a classic $300 Michael Kors bag might be a hefty upfront expense, but if you wear that quality made baby multiple times per week, for years, the cost might work out better than buying a cheap-o purse every season instead.

10. Don't be afraid to return things. So often the in the past I would order something online, see it in person and feel totally "meh", but be too lazy to return it. What's worse than driving to the post office, staring at that space sucker everyday in my closet.

Bonus tip: Tattoo this motto on your credit card wielding arm:  "spend money as well as you can once, instead of three times poorly."

:: Now that you are on the road to recovery, share this friendly PSA with your friends ::
Here & Now : building a curated closet | 101: getting past impulse shopping

(disclaimer: I am not a money expert, I do not have a degree in this area, not all of these tips will be helpful to everyone, but I hope that you can keep some of them in mind next time you are shopping. If you have other sage advice, I know that myself & others would love to hear it, so please leave it in the comments)

How do you avoid impulse shopping?

What is at the top of your "closet holes" list?