May 31, 2013

Chicago Recap & Outfits

I took a last minute trip to Chicago Memorial Day weekend to visit my boyfriend! We ate to our heart's content every day and go to do some touristy sight-seeing things which was fun. Friday night we went out with some of my BFs friends to a local bar. I had planned out my outfits to the T because the coat I brought took up so much space in my suitcase, but when I arrived, I realized it was WAY colder than I anticipated. I ended up wearing the white sweater below 3 times when I only planned to use it as an airport outfit, lol. Didn't get too creative with my Friday night outfit because I just wanted to stay warm, lol.
Sweater: Old Navy (similar)
Skirt: Forever 21 (similar)
Tights: Ann Taylor (similar)
Booties: Madden Girl (similar)
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
View of Lake Michigan from BF's balcony
2 things happened in the last week which I can honestly say changed my (hair) life. I got a haircut at the same place I got "the best haircut ever" 2 years ago, and it was, again, the best haircut ever. I should never stray again. And second, I purchased the Hot Tools 2" Curling Iron. It literally makes my hair look like above every single time I use it. So basically, it looks like I got a blowout every day of my life. Who doesn't want that??! I also purchased some heat protectant and now I feel a little better about putting hot tools on my hair daily.

On Saturday, we had brunch at Yolk, a brunch restaurant recommended to me. The wait time was well worth it, as we both thoroughly enjoyed our meals. They had like 5 different kinds of eggs benedict (my favorite brunch dish) so I was content. I had the classic eggs benedict. There were about 20 other things on the menu I would have ordered, so picking one thing was really hard. After that, we walked around downtown Chicago and took a Chicago River Architecture Tour. It was so, so cold and windy on the river that we made it through about 2/3 of the tour before going inside to warm ourselves. The tour was very interesting though and it gave a great overview of all the famous buildings and architecture in the city. Then we headed to Millennium Park to see the "bean." I took the opportunity to take some outfit photos, lol.
Jacket: J. Crew
Sweater: Old Navy (similar)
Blouse: Gap (similar)
Jeans: Forever 21 (similar)
Boots: Steve Madden
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
Bag: B. Makowsky (similar)
Reflection in "the bean."
Standing inside the bean
After that, we walked around a bit more, BF showed me his office building, and then we had our first ever "Chicago style hot dogs" - which I really liked. We had dinner at a restaurant recommended to us by BF's coworker, Gilt Bar. It was very trendy but the place could have been a shack for all I cared because the food was amazing. I would definitely go there again. They have a semi-secret downstairs "speakeasy" which is hidden, and we poked our heads inside to see what it was like. We went next door to another bar for a drink called Bavette's.

Sunday we decided to wake up early and do some touristy things. We had brunch at Eggy's, and we both really liked our meals again. I had an eggs benedict which had pulled pork instead of canadian bacon and waffles instead of english muffins. The pulled pork had been saturated in maple syrup...so effing good. We then went to the John Hancock observatory (the 3rd?? tallest building in the country?? or in Chicago? Don't remember.) It's supposed to have better views than the skydeck at the Sears tower (although I wish it had a cool clear/glass platform like Sears).
View from the John Hancock Center

I finally got some great use out of my red coat!
View of the Water Tower from above
Tourist fun - pretending to wash the windows of the John Hancock center with Chicago in the background, lol. 
We stopped into H&M afterward and I found this cute white peplum top that I wanted to buy... but then I noticed every. single. top. had someone's ORANGE makeup smeared all over the collar. There were literally ZERO clean versions of this top so I got angry at H&M (and the, apparently, one customer who would treat the clothes like that) and left because that's disgusting. Then we went to the Field Museum which was basically like any big city's natural history museum. We stayed there for a really long time but honestly... not worth the time or money. We should have picked something else to do, because both of us just weren't feeling the exhibits (except Egypt..we freakin love Egyptian history). We went to dinner at Sable Kitchen and Bar, which was also excellent. It was a small-plates concept and we liked all the dishes we tried.
My Sunday outfit with Sue, the most complete T-Rex, in the background.
Striped shirt: Banana Republic (similar)
Jeans: Forever 21 (similar)
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
Coat: J. Crew (similar but $$$)
Bag: B. Makowsky (similar)
Anyway, that was my little trip to Chicago. I can't wait to go back, possibly do some more tourist stuff, and definitely eat a ton more. What did you do during Memorial Day weekend?

May 28, 2013

May Budget Recap

I'm linking up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers! I am proud to report I stayed within my clothing budget this month! I am not proud to report that my entire budget was thrown off my an impromptu trip to Chicago to visit my boyfriend, where we paid too much for sightseeing, food, and taxis (hey, it was cold!). I'll be posting a few outfits and a trip recap sometime this week. As for the budget, here's what I bought this month:

1. Ann Taylor polka dot dress (very similar)- $34. I don't own many work dresses, and all of them are plain black, so during a recent extra 60% of sale I tried this one below. I was pleasantly surprised, and have already worn it to work twice.

2. Ann Taylor tweed dress - $54. Another 60% off sale purchase. I need to get this one altered so I haven't worn it yet. I found a great tailor through my friend which is like 3 minutes from my work, so I'm hoping to stop by there after work this week and drop it off. I'll include any alteration costs in next month's budget.
3. Ann Taylor sheer black tights - $6. I wore these tights to dinner every night in Chicago.. and then I wore them to work today and saw they have a run already. I know $6 isn't a lot of money, but I'm so mad these are already ruined! I might as well just buy the cheap grocery store tights and get the same amount of use out of them.
4. Forever 21 Studded Faux Leather Flats - $25 each ($50 total). As soon as I saw these flats while perusing the website I knew I had to at least try them. And I couldn't decide on which color to try so I ordered both. Now I'm in a predicament where I still can't decide which color to keep, lol. FYI the reviews are spot on - the shoes fit true to size to small. I normally wear a 6.5 to 7 in shoes and I ordered the 7 and they fit perfectly, if not slightly tight in the toe box. The faux leather looks more expensive than it is, and the studs are really cute. The only downside I've seen is that the studs may have a tendency to fall out - I found one on my carpet and I haven't even worn the shoes out of my apartment yet. I just stuck it right back in the hole it came from. However, it could be a lone stud because I checked the rest of them and they seem secure. Anyway, if you have any preference in color please share in the comments because I feel kind of guilty keeping both pairs.
5. Forever 21 Colorblocked Open-Toe Sandals - $32.80. As I browsed the shoe section, I also fell in love with several pairs of sandals. I already decided I'm going to return these gladiator style ones because the leather does not lay flat across the top of my feet (I have bony points on my feet so this may be the cause - people with regular feet probably won't have this problem). However these sandals below are a winner. I love the mixture of black and brown, and hopefully that combination will mean they can be worn with either blacks or browns and silvers or golds. The heel is high, but the chunky heel makes it easier to walk in, and the placement of the straps helps keep my foot in place. I also considered ordering these Buckled Faux Leather Sandals, but the metallic strap killed it for me. I would have bought them if they were all nude.
I give myself $200 a month for my clothing budget. I spent $94 at Ann Taylor and $83 at Forever 21 for a total of $177. It might even be $25 less if I decide to return one pair of flats. Do you keep a budget? How did you do with your spending this month?

May 15, 2013

Guest Posting Over at "Work It" Today!

I'm guest posting for Christine over at Work It today. I'd love it if you'd head over there to see another one of my "day to night" looks! Here's a sneak peek below:

May 13, 2013

Day to Night, Black & White

I knew I was going to run home after work and have little time to change for dinner the other day, so I decided to keep most of my outfit the same for later in the day. This top is usually reserved for "going out" but I felt it would work for a work top, especially when dressed up a bit with a blazer and pencil skirt. The only things I changed about my outfit for evening were the pants and jewelry. A quick roll of my blazer sleeves and I took it from business to casual. I could have also ditched the blazer for an even more casual look. 
Blazer: Theory
Top: Forever 21
Skirt: Banana Republic Factory (similar)
Jeans: Forever 21 (similar)
Shoes: Ann Taylor
Pearl necklaces: Forever 21 & Nordstrom Rack
Chain necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
Bracelets: Etsy & Ebay (similar)
Watch: Michael Kors
I'm linking up with Mix & Match Fashion's "What I Wore to Work" linkup, and Work Clothes I Suppose's "Third Thursday Threads" linkup!

May 10, 2013

lots of dots

There are a lot of things I wish I could share about work that I don't know if I can without breaching some sort of code - whether it's attorney client privilege or some other ethical issue. I was helping out with a very important trial the past few weeks and earlier this week we found out we lost. I thought I would cry but instead I just felt empty. I don't feel that "justice" was served in this particular situation. On a more pleasant note, last week I had the chance to argue the very first motion to suppress that I wrote as a lawyer in September. Due to the nature of the court system the motion was pushed back and continued time after time, but finally we were able to deal with it and it was a favorable outcome for our client. The rest of this week I've been trying to catch up on work that was pushed aside during the trial - it really piled up over the last few weeks. Are there things you wish you could talk about on the internet but you can't for some reason or another? Unfortunately, although this blog should be about me and what I want to talk about, but sometimes the internet is not anonymous enough!
Blazer: Theory
Dress: Ann Taylor
Shoes: Cole Haan
Necklace: Bohypsy
Earrings: Ebay
This weekend my car is in the shop so I will be limited in what I do - thankfully I live within walking distance of a DSW, Nordstrom Rack, and Marshalls :) Although I don't really need to shop any more. During the recent Ann Taylor extra 60% off sale, I picked up several things but only one or two are keepers. I ordered this dress in a 0P and while it could be cut closer to the body in the skirt, I don't think I could have gone any smaller in the top. It was only $34 with the discount and it's going to be great for work - plus it's machine washable. The ruching is very flattering. There are still a bunch of sizes left online, if you are interested. The petite size hits only about an inch or 2 above my knee (I'm 5'3" for reference) but because I'm bending my knee below it looks shorter. I promise it's work appropriate, lol. The other possible keeper is this dress, which was on sale for $54. The tweed is gorgeous and I can see it matching almost all of my blazers - camel, navy, blue, white, black, brown. The smallest size available at the time was a 0 regular, and it is about 2 inches big all around, except the length is great hitting right above my knee. I'm going to see how much it will cost to get tailored or if it's even possible to tailor it - if it's $40 or less I'll pay for it because I think the end result will be a fabulous dress.

May 9, 2013

"Brew at the Zoo"

This past weekend I went with some friends to an event called "Brew at the Zoo." As you can probably tell from the name, it involved drinking beer at the Miami Metro Zoo. It was a beer festival with around 100 different types of beer. We were most excited about getting to drink around exotic animals, but when we arrived, we were sorely disappointed to find out that the Brew AT the Zoo was actually in a field adjacent to the zoo. We had a good laugh about how it was a misnomer and how "Brew in the field next to the Zoo" just doesn't have the same ring to it. It was cool to try different beers - but lezbhonest, I don't like bitter IPAs so a lot of them were gross tasting to me. I did try a raspberry shock top and an apple shock top which were both nice, however. Oh, and Naughty By Nature (yes, the 90's hip hop group) performed so that was fun/funny also. Anyway, this is what I wore. Idk what's going on with the bunching knees, but I guess that's Forever 21 quality for ya! 
Top: Ann Taylor (similar)
Jeans: Forever 21 (similar)
Sandals: Madden Girl (similar)
Bag: Longchamp
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
Bracelets: Etsy & Ebay (similar)

May 6, 2013

navy, teal, tortoiseshell

I couldn't resist busting out some of my new work pieces last week, and this was one of the first outfits I put together. It certainly isn't groundbreaking, but I felt really put together all day and got several compliments on my dress. My gold chain necklace and bracelets have been some of my most-worn items this past year. They look almost like a set when worn together, and they go with everything. I think they add a bit of edge to my work outfits without going too outside the box. Any other suggestions for colors that you'd wear with this dress? I'm thinking it would look good with grey and white, but I should probably stay away from black. What do you think? I always get great color suggestions from you guys.
Blazer: Theory
Dress: Tahari
Shoes: Vince Camuto (similar)
Necklace: Forever 21 (similar)
Bracelets: Etsy & Ebay (similar)