April 28, 2013

April Budget Recap

I'm linking up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers! Here's what I got this month:
1. Banana Republic Factory blouse - $25 (after 50% off discount)
2. Banana Republic Factory tweed pencil skirt - $17 (on clearance + 50% discount) (similar)
(P.S. - my shoes are from Ann Taylor last year and are some of the most comfortable heels I own. When I stopped by the Ann Taylor outlet I noticed they had the exact same shoes on sale for $49, which is a good deal considering these were originally about $148 or $178 on the AT website)
4. Last weekend I stopped by Plato's Closet to sell some clothes, and while I was there I picked up this French Connection dress with the tags still on for only $16 ($228 originally)! I have been really good about not buying random dresses when I don't need them, but this deal was too good to pass up. I already wore it out last weekend to an alumni event and even if I only wear it once or twice more I will have gotten my money's worth.

5. Also while at Plato's Closet, I stopped by the TJ Maxx in the same shopping center and found these Elie Tahari Theora pants in my size for $49 down from $178 originally. They need a few inches hemmed (and need to be ironed).
6. I FINALLY purchased a new iPhone case. I've always been a fan of the Otterbox cases because they keep your phone PRISTINE inside, but I was using an all black "man case" for the last 2 years (as my friends politely put it) so I had been meaning to buy a more "girly" one. I'm happy with this purple and white Commuter style that I found on Ebay for only $10.
7 - 10. I went to the Theory outlet to buy a suit. I tried on basically everything in the store and was considering also purchasing a seersucker suit jacket and matching dress, but I think I'll wait and see about that one, lol. I ended up getting a jacket, matching skirt, matching dress, and matching pants. The pants need to be hemmed and the dress needs to have the skirt slimmed. I needed another suit badly and I got a good deal (for Theory prices). Theory was also doing a scratch off card and I got an extra 20% off my entire order, so that saved me some money too. 
11. I also stopped into the Saks Off 5th outlet and found this Tahari dress in my size. I really liked the mixture of tweed and ponte material. I never thought I could fit into Tahari stuff, but with this dress and the recent pant purchase, I'm going to consider Tahari more often for my work clothes. I got the dress with an extra 30% off for $83.
12. I give myself $50 a month for "personal care" which includes makeup and toiletries. This month, Ulta had a 20% off everything sale so I decided to splurge a bit and pick up some things I had been wanting for a while. I got the Benefit Fake Up concealer, some foundation, 2 brushes (the crease brush for eyeshadow is life changing, by the way), some clear polish (I tried painting a thin coat over non-sterling silver earring posts - IT WORKS!), and the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs makeup. The Sally Hansen lotion might be holy grail material - I look soooo tan when I put it on, without the commitment that comes with self-tanner. It is truly makeup so it doesn't seep into your skin but sits on top of it. However, it is much harder to get off than regular makeup and you pretty much have to shower and exfoliate to get it to come off. Total for all these products was $90, so I went a bit over my $50 budget this month.

Total clothing (not including the suit) = $25 Banana top + $17 Banana skirt + $10 iPhone case + $50 Tahari pants + $83 Tahari dress = $201 - $60 (sold at Plato's closet) = $141
Total makeup = $90 ($40 over budget) oops..

April 19, 2013

Teal, Grey, Floral

Oh man you guys, I have been so busy this week. My bosses started picking a jury for a death penalty trial Monday and I stayed with them in court for 2 days. My job was to do little google background checks on all the potential jurors to see if anything popped up that would make us want/not want them as a juror. I also kept my computer with me to do some last minute research if an issue came up (and several did). On Thursday I had to spend the entire day at a seminar about professionalism. It's required that all new Florida lawyers go to this seminar within your first year after passing the bar, so it was mandatory. I found it utterly useless given that my law school made me take a class on ethics and professionalism AND I had to take the MPRE (an ethics exam similar to the bar exam). Let's just say I think I've learned everything I can possibly learn about ethics at this point. The only thing I found useful was that apparently the advertising rules for lawyers are now being applied to social media as well, so I guess I'll keep that in mind if I ever decide to make my firm a Facebook page, lol. While I was not paying attention at the seminar I started reading a book on my phone called Child 44 - it took me a while to get into it but I'm really liking it now. Anyway, here is what I wore to work today. I went to take pictures this morning and realized I misplaced my memory card, so iPhone photos will have to do until I find it! Hope everyone has a great weekend. My plan is to go to Plato's Closet and try to sell some ish I never wear, and then head to the outlets to try to buy a navy suit :)
Jacket: Express (similar)
Skirt: Theory 
Blouse: Ann Taylor (love this one)
Shoes: Ann Taylor (similar)
Necklace: Tiffany
Bracelets: Tiffany & John Hardy
Linking up with Work Clothes I Suppose for Third Thursday Threads: Florals!

April 12, 2013

Casual Friday: Burgundy, Navy, Stripes

I actually wore this out last Saturday to run some errands around town, but TODAY is Friday and I hadn't posted it yet, so I figured why not. I had a combination of a terrible day and terrible night yesterday. I had to drive to West Palm Beach for a meeting yesterday. The meeting itself was interesting and I enjoyed being there, but driving home in rush-hour traffic sucked majorly. Combined, I was in the car for 4 hours of the day. Then, when I got home from work, I realized that my dog had eaten some Easter chocolates I stupidly left on my coffee table. I panicked for a while trying to remember how much I left out.. Basically she didn't eat THAT much compared to her weight, and it was milk chocolate, and the Internet and my vet said I should just watch her to make sure she didn't show signs of poisoning. So, I ended up staying up half the night making sure she was OK - she seems to be, so that's good. I've never felt so guilty... All I could keep thinking about was "if she dies it's my fault." At the very least, I learned a lesson to pick up after myself and not be careless with what I leave around my apartment. So, anyway, I'm about to have a day being extremely tired at work from getting no sleep last night - FUN. Hope everyone has a great weekend - my BF is coming into town so I'm excited to see him! P.S. - I'm standing so weird below. Please excuse my awkward feet.
Blazer: Forever 21 (similar)
Jeans: A&F
Shoes: Sperry (similar)
Bag: B. Makowsky
Scarf: H&M (similar)
Earrings: Lord & Taylor (similar)
Watch: Michael Kors

April 10, 2013

Camel, Coral, Animal

I've been so so busy at work recently I haven't put a lot of effort into getting dressed, and when I do, I've been making it home after dark so I haven't taken pictures. Today, however, I snapped some pics before work! My bosses have a death penalty trial coming up next week and my other boss has 2 murder trials set for next week too. I'm going to have to juggle helping everyone out, which will be stressful but also FUN! Today I wore this outfit to court because I was just there in a helping capacity.. If I was there in a more important capacity I don't think I would have worn animal print, lol. :)
Jacket: J. Crew (similar)
Blouse: T.J. Maxx (similar)
Skirt: LOFT (similar)
Shoes: Vince Camuto (similar - and I know from experience they are comfortable!)
Necklace: Ebay (similar)
Bag: B. Makowsky

April 5, 2013

Casual Friday: Winter White & Jeans

This week I've been all about clothes that feel like pajamas. For some reason it's just been really hard to wake up in the morning this week, and the last thing I've wanted to do is wear uncomfortable clothes. Earlier in the week I wore my burgundy knit blazer (the knit material has more stretch to it and isn't as constricting as some of my other blazers) and now today I wore my new Old Navy sweater to work under a blazer. It not only kept me warm in my frigid office, but I was just that much more comfortable and relaxed. It ended up being one of those work days where you get SO MUCH done and the day flies by. I attribute this fully to being comfortable at work, and not the fact that I am just an exceptionally fast worker, haha. What do you wear to work when you don't want to get out of bed in the morning?
Blazer: Zara (similar)
Sweater: Old Navy (20% off with ONAPRIL20)
Jeans: 7FAM (similar)
Booties: Sam Edelman (similar)
Necklace: Banana Republic (similar)
Bag: B. Makowsky
In beauty product related news, I went to Sephora 2 weekends ago to try to act dumb and get free samples of primer. Not only did I get a sample of Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, but they also gave me a few samples of the Smashbox BB Cream. I've been wearing that as a primer the last 2 days and I love the glow/color it gives me that the regular primer doesn't. I also want to correct myself - in an earlier post I said that the Monistat Chafing Gel wasn't staying on as well as the Smashbox primer sample that I had tried. Well, this may be true, but it turns out the sample I had was for the Smashbox Primer Light, which is NOT the "dupe" for the Chafing Gel. When I got the sample from Sephora I realized the Gel is the dupe for the regular Smashbox primer - and it truly is. It feels exactly the same going on the skin and has the same longevity and results. Ideally I'd like something that keeps my dryness from showing all day, but so far nothing works to combat that.

April 2, 2013

Review: Forever 21 Essentials Polka Dot Shirtdress and Sheath Dress

I ordered some items from Forever 21 but they didn't arrive until today, so if I decide to keep them, I'll be putting them into April's budget. I ordered these wayfarers because I had the same pair a few months ago, I lost them at the airport in October, and I've been missing them ever since. They went out of stock for a while but when I noticed them back in stock I placed an order. I heard good things about the Essentials Polka Dot Sheath Dress from Elle, so I decided to try it out in the same order.
Elle provided the measurements of the XS so I won't repeat it here. I similarly thought the top of the dress fit well but the bottom felt too loose. Especially after seeing the back of the dress I thought I would definitely return it. But I wanted to give it a second chance by actually trying to style it how I'd wear it to work because I thought a blazer would conceal the apparent wideness - I was right.
Blazer: Theory
Necklace: Ebay
Belt: Ann Taylor
Shoes: Ann Taylor
I think the dress looks much better with the blazer over it. I'm still considering returning it because I can't think of many more ways to wear this other than changing out the color of blazers, and maybe putting a collared shirt underneath. This dress is also a good contender for the wear a dress as a skirt/wear a dress as a shirt thing, but I'm not very good at that. I also worry that I won't have the balls to wear this to court even though its a conservative cut dress. Any of my lawyer friends, have you seen people wear polka dots to court? Or would you reserve this outfit for an office day?
I also ordered the Essentials Polka Dot Shirtdress in XS to try because reviews said it ran small, I liked the vibrancy of the royal blue, and I like the concept of loose fitting shirt dresses.
As reviews said online, the top part of the dress definitely runs smaller than typical Forever 21 sizes. When I was taking off the dress I had to kind of wiggle to get it over my shoulders. The sleeves are about an inch too long. I like the look of the dress from the front but the back view is wack. I don't know if I was slouching or something... I think I need second opinions on this dress. I could also see me belting it at the waist with various colors to fix up the back view and give me some more shape. What do you think? Should I return the dress?

April 1, 2013

March Budget Recap

I'm linking up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers! After spending nearly nothing last month I pushed my budget to the limit this month. I'm pretty excited because I crossed off a few items from my wish list and I think that made the purchases that much more satisfying.
As I posted a few days ago, I got the J. Crew Downtown Field Jacket on sale and have been wearing it non stop. I also got a pearl and gold chain necklace from J.crew which is pretty but I might return it because I don't need it.
I took a chance and bought Cole Haan Air Violet black pumps off eBay to replace my black pumps which are showing a lot of wear. I think I got a good deal at $53, considering brand new they cost about $200. They look like they were worn maybe once as the bottoms have minimal scuffs and the insides are pristine. I'm really excited because they seem like a manageable heel height, and they have the Nike Air technology so that should add to the comfort.
I also indulged in some costume jewelry off eBay. The necklaces below were each $.99! I also got a matching bracelet and earrings, all for $.99, for a total of $4.
I bought the Engineered Stripe Tee on sale from Banana Republic for $15. The material feels higher quality than I'm used to for t-shirts, I like that it's long sleeved instead of 3/4 sleeved, and the sleeves hit me exactly where I like them. I also like that it's got a bit of a looser fit for a more casual look.
The silver bead bracelet below is also from eBay and was $3. It's a bit big for me, but I think it will nicely compliment my Tiffany necklace that I bought it to match.
One of my favorite things I bought was put into my shopping cart as a filler. I got this Open Knit Sweater from Old Navy for $20. Even though it's like 80 degrees most of the winter in Miami, I found myself wishing I had more sweaters this year. I think this one is perfect because it is perforated - really, how is a perforated sweater appropriate anywhere else than in hot weather, lol? Plus it is soooo soft. I actually tried it on last for this post and am still wearing it as I type because it feels like pajamas :)
I got a gold chain bracelet from eBay to replace my Etsy one that fell apart. It was $6.50, my most expensive eBay jewelry item of the month. The bracelet looks really great, it seems like the same links as my one from Etsy (except a fraction of the price) and the gold hardware actually looks better than the Etsy bracelet, in my opinion. The only thing was it was way too big for my wrist and kept falling off, so I just got a pair of pliers and removed about 3-4 links and now it's perfect.

And finally, for something I bought but plan to return, I added these two Old Navy linen shirts to my cart because I liked the colors and thought I could wear them to work under blazers and on the weekend for a casual but nice shirt. I thought about keeping them because they were only ~$11, but the fit isn't that great, the material shows wrinkles really badly, and the fabric is kind of see through. I think I can find a more silky, satiny, or even polyester material that I like better.
Grand total for the month:
J. Crew: $148 (jacket) + $25 (necklace) - 25% off - $50 gift card from Bri = $79.75
Old Navy: $20 (sweater) (not keeping the 2 linen blouses for $22)
Banana Republic: $15 (stripe shirt)
Ebay: Clover items $4, silver bead bracelet $3, gold chain bracelet $6.50, Cole Haan pumps $53 = $66.50
TOTAL: $181.25 out of $200 (I didn't include tax because I'm lazy, but my total is probably around $200 this month)
How'd you do with your budget this month?