September 4, 2015

What's REALLY in my work bag?

In the ~4 years I've had this blog, I don't think I've ever done a "what's in my bag?" post. Partly it was because, like I've said before, this requires foresight (which I rarely have when it comes to this blog) and partly it was because most of these posts by other bloggers are similar/the same, and what makes me different? I'll tell you what makes me different - I am going to show you what's REALLY in my work bag, sans any edits to make my life seem more put-together or beautiful than the average person. At the end of the day, I am a lawyer by career, not a blogger portraying some falsely beautiful life. Ahead, a pretty pic of my new-ish work bag, and what is REALLY in my work bag (at least on the day I took these pictures). 
(clockwise from the top right)
  • I carry a notebook with me often/almost daily. I usually forget to pack one when I'm going to a deposition and then I run into a problem where I'm taking notes all over random papers. 
  • I've been carrying these random papers in my bag for the last month. They are my car insurance renewal papers. I have to pay this bill by next week or my insurance will lapse.
  • My boyfriend bought me this Kate Spade wallet for Christmas/my birthday. It's got that saffiano leather which makes it harder to scratch - which is perfect for my life!
  • I always have random pens in my bag - how else will I take notes on my notepad?
  • Although I have a cute Kate Spade gold business card holder (similar) (a gift from my parents, I believe when I graduated from law school), I still manage to throw business cards willy-nilly around my bag. Also, a lone paperclip.
  • My sunglasses OUTSIDE of my sunglass case. I am surprised the glasses are not scratched, but I've been lucky so far. 
  • A literal plastic bag which I carried my lunch to work in the day these pictures were taken. What is my life? 
  • NOTE: missing things that are also usually in my bag: a mini Purell hand sanitizer, a lanyard attached to a USB drive (gotta have my files with me, bro), a random lipgloss (almost every bag I have has a NYX lipgloss in it). 
The end. I hope this post has, at the very least, made you chuckle. And at the most, I hope you realize it's OK to have imperfect, not-very-beautiful content in your purse. 

September 2, 2015

On Curbing Spending

I used to regularly participate in Franish's monthly "budgeting bloggers" posts, but somewhere along the line I fell off the wagon. That, coupled with the fact that I switched jobs (which included a raise), has led me to not watch my clothing spending in the last few months. I think I am actually going to reduce my self-proclaimed budget of $200/month that I've had for the last 3+ years down to $100 a month (and preferably $0 for a few months). This revelation came to me on August 31, so September will be the perfect time to start this little experiment.

In the meantime, I want to share a few of my favorite things I've bought in the past few months. 
Every few weeks I have to go to West Palm Beach for depositions, and about 2 months or so ago I stopped by the outlets up there for my lunch break. I ended up falling in love with a bunch of bags at the Brahmin outlet. I've heard of Brahmin before but couldn't bring myself to pay full price. The second time I went to WPB, I decided to buy a bag. Specifically, I purchased the Tori tote for work. 

Although the only links I can find are for full price, the outlets had them for about 30% off the full price (savings of about $100). The outlet also had a million beautiful colors to choose from (like 3 or 4 in shades of brown - there was something for everyone, seriously). I really have fallen in love with this brand - beautiful but not showy in the sense that you're not walking around with a huge logo emblem or super-recognizable bag. If the Tori bag isn't available, a close alternative is the West Lake bag, which also has a zipper on the top. Nordstrom currently has it available in 4 colors for only ~$150 (about 50% off).

Another thing that is both great and sucky about my new job is that I get along really well with everyone, and that the other girls in the office and I sometimes go out to the mall or the nearby Nordstrom Rack during lunch. It's sucky because obviously this leads to spending money. One day, a friend and I went to Nordstrom Rack and she tried on these super cute sandals below that I decided I also just "had to have" as well. I really do like them - they are comfortable and I feel like they are stylish and "amp up" my regular outfits a bit, but they were still SO unnecessary given the amount of shoes I have (about 10 pairs too many). 

In terms of beauty spending, Ulta had a 20% off entire purchase sale this past month, so that killed my wallet. I ended up getting this contour brush and the Lorac contour palette, both of which I really like. However, a FYI to very fair-skinned ladies like myself - the Lorac palette's "light" color is VERY dark- to the point that I wouldn't wear this on a daily basis to court because its kinda a nighttime/going out vibe. 

Honestly, this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of my spending in the last few months. I spent about an hour the other day going through my account and categorizing purchases to find out where I'm going wrong and it was UPSETTING. I am really really REALLY going to try to use what I already have and cut back, but also keep up with posting outfits. If anyone has any ideas for other budgeting apps or other ideas (right now I'm carrying a notebook with me daily to track spending) I am open and ready! 

September 1, 2015

Belated crochet top & cuffed shorts

I found this lost outfit from when I was in Naples almost 2 months ago. I really like this shirt that I picked up from Nordstrom Rack - it's nice as a casual top with a tank underneath or as a beach coverup, which is what I used it for on the day in question. Also, I am sad to report that due to an unforeseen circumstance (someone with a larger head than me decided to wear my hat below as a joke) it is now slightly crushed and deformed :( I don't want to write it off completely yet, but it's not lookin' good. I got a solid month of wear out of it but it really should have lasted longer. 
Top: Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Shorts: A&F (similar)
Shoes: Ellen Tracy via TJ Maxx (similar)
Sunglasses: Ray Ban

Shop this outfit:

July 23, 2015

Swim Week 2015: Featuring ModelLauncher Cosmetics

I wanted to share a post (or two) about Swim Week this year, which took place last weekend in various areas of South Beach. I had the opportunity to attend a few shows, go backstage for the first time, and interview Tatjana Stepakina, the creative director of ModelLauncher cosmetics! But first, my outfit: I have now learned the ropes and know 'tis better to wear ones hair up than down during swim week, as the humidity is unbearable. I spent the afternoon before the shows watching youtube videos on some interesting (but easy) ways to wear your hair in an updo, and I settled on this one by the Small Things Blog). Let's be honest... my hair did NOT come out looking like hers but it was OK for a first try haha (see bottom for my hair)! In terms of clothing, I wore an Elizabeth & James dress, simple jewelry from Nordstrom Rack, and my go-to-most-comfortable-heel sandals which have been like the best $20 I've ever spent. Check out below for some backstage pics and to learn more about ModelLauncher cosmetics! 
ModelLauncher was kind enough to send me some samples - I wore the lip crayon to dinner tonight and love the application and color. The color is "Demure" in case you are interested. The blotting powder is great for Florida heat (and really, anywhere during the summer) to keep your makeup staying PUT! And of course the packaging is beautiful :)  
Tatjana is a former model, and she was inspired by her industry to create a brand that reminds everyone using it that they are their own model. What sets ModelLauncher apart from other brands and that is unique about it is that it is all natural makeup. I also spoke with the head makeup artist backstage and she compared the brand to Bare Minerals - Wow! 
ModelLauncher cosmetics were used at the CDFA Incubator show for the makeup looks. The CDFA Incubator show featured the debut of the Wet Deck Collection along with private looks by Misha NonooIsa Tapia and Sara Beltran by Deszo. Above you can see some of the runway looks laid out. 
Above is a pic my friend grabbed of some of the models before the show. I asked Tatjana what her favorite summer trend in makeup was, and she was a huge proponent of the sun kissed look, which the models definitely rocked. I also asked Tatjana what she recommended to keep your makeup looking great in the summer heat - the blotting powder (pictured above) came highly recommended! 
Outfit details
Earrings: Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Necklace: Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Ring: Michael Kors (similar)
Watch: Michael Kors
Bracelet: Ann Taylor (similar)
Shoes: Forever 21 (similar)
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (similar)

July 15, 2015

July 4th in Naples, FL

This blue dress with red shoes is about as festive as I got for the 4th of July, and it wasn't even intentional! When I packed for my weekend trip to Naples, I tried to grab some dresses from my closet that I don't get to wear very often, and this dress made the cut. I got the dress back from the tailor too late to wear to my friend's wedding in Memphis a few months ago, and since then, I haven't had many occasions for sundresses. If you're thinking of spending July 4th in Naples, FL (I realize this is a year away, but maybe you're a person who plans far in advance...) they set off fireworks at the Naples Pier, and also over in Ft. Myers. I went to dinner at a restaurant called the Turtle Club, and I was able to see the fireworks at the Naples pier as well as over in Ft. Myers, and some people were setting off fireworks right on the beach outside of the restaurant as well. Although we didn't plan it, it ended up being a perfect spot - plus with some tables outside right on the sand, it was a beautiful location to watch the sunset. 
Dress: Lilly for Target (similar)
Shoes: Ellen Tracy (similar)
NecklaceKendra Scott
Ring: Michael Kors (similar)
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