Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Fun in the Field Game

I missed out on the ever popular Field Game Cardigan last year and have been searching for the gray colorway on ebay for a while now.  I finally found one for a very reasonable price!  Just goes to show that "the one that got away" will usually come back around (and maybe even for a steal of a price) if you are patient.  Which brings me to one of my new budget resolutions - "Never buy another Anthro item at full price just because I'm scared it will sell out in my size before it hits sale."  In the past I've panicked and snatched up items at full-price when my size was dwindling, only to later see the item for sale price or even cheaper on ebay or through EA's trade market. 

Cardigan: Anthropologie Field Game Cardi (via ebay)
Blouse: New York & Co. (really old)
Jeans: Vanity
Earrings: Anthropologie Petite Filigree Drops 

My first few times wearing this cardi I went the boring route and just wore a gray top underneath.  This time I decided to try out an unexpected color combination.  I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.  I think the bold goldenrod color contrasts nicely with the soft and sweet lace and light gray/beige.  I went and broused the J. Crew outlet while wearing this outfit and one of the SAs repeatedly complimented me on the color combo.  Not only that, but she kept pointing it out to other SAs and even told me that if I needed a job, she'd love to pick my brain for unique color pairings - haha! 

Have you ever found "the one that got away" on ebay or the trade market for a killer deal?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Budget Reflections + a TRUE Wishlist

Hello again!  One thing I reflected a lot about during the past month is my budget.  This was a direct result of the personal shopper scandal after seeing so many other bloggers and blog commenters talking about responsible spending.  A couple of posts really stood out and had a huge impact on me.  One is Roxy's post describing her personal budget strategies.  After reading this (and many of the comments) I've started to try out some of the tips and look forward to coming up with some unique budget strategies of my own to keep my spending in check!    The other is Jess' post - it is so insightful and really inspired me to stop and think about my spending and what consumerism means to me.  In her post, she writes: " For those of us who are mere spectators dealing with the aftershock, why not seize this moment for contemplation and self-critique?"  And so, that's exactly what I did.

I admit, I have gotten a little carried away in consumerism.  Material things have become a bigger obsession to me than they should be.  Plus, I haven't been sticking to a strict enough budget, especially for this time in my life.  My husband and I are saving up for a move, to buy a house, and to start a family in the near future.  I need to start being more responsible and saving away money for that rathing that spending it on material things.  After all, although fashion and pretty things are a legitimate interest of mine, they aren't as important as family and building our future.  So, step one is a stricter budget for myself. 

I thought long and hard about why I started this blog and the simple reason is - I started it as a hobby and to share my love of pretty things with others who also appreciate them.  Throughout that process (and after starting to read other fashion blogs), I did get a little carried away with consumerism and shopping.  Although I'm in no way happy about the misfortunes of those affected by the personal shopping scandal, I am grateful that it caused a series of reactions that forced me to step back and take a look at myself, my consumerism, and how that relates to my blog.  My goal for my blog from here on out is to continue to share my love of pretty things (including Anthropologie!), but also to document my journey toward budgeting more responsibly.  In the near future, I'd like to run posts about stategies I've implemented to keep my budget in check (many inspired by Roxy's post) and also how to make the best out of what I have in my closet already (I plan on participating in the 30 for 30 this Fall!)  In addition, I want to share other aspects of my life besides fashion.  After all, I do have other interests besides clothes and accessories (such as traveling, music, food and wine, & crafting) - all of which I'd also like to share with my readers.  I hope that's okay with you all!  :)

In keeping with the spirit of continuing to share my love of pretty things (and keeping on a budget!), I'd like to present you with my TRUE Wishlist.  It's a TRUE Wishlist because the following are items I'm lusting over, but I'm not breaking my strict budget to buy them!  Instead, I will pass my wishlist along to others and maybe some of my wishes will come true this upcoming birthday and holiday season! 

Surprisingly, there are only a few Anthro items on my wishlist right now:

Love it because it's so sophisticated-chic, but the polka dots add a splash of fun!

Looks like something Emma Pillsbury would wear and therefore, I love it.

Love the color of the stripes and the button details.  Plus, it looks soft and comfy for casual days.

And these are the non-Anthro items that are on the other part of my current wishlist:

I have these in cognac and LOVE them, so I think these would fill my black-boot void nicely.

This one just jumped out at me when I broused the J. Crew catalog.  Love the color, plus I'd really like a bright colored winter coat since all I have are neutral (cream, grey, black) winter coats.

Anyway, thanks for reading my "reflections" and I hope you'll stick with me as my blog transitions into a representation of more thoughtful consumerism while continuing to share all things that are pretty, vintage, and chic.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tupelo Celebration

Hello everyone!  Sorry about my extended absence.  Like many other bloggers, after hearing about the big Anthroholic scandal I felt I needed a little break from blogging to think about why I started this blog in the first place and where I want to take it from here.  I'll explain more of my reflections at a later time, but for now I'd like to share an outfit and some pictures.  Exactly two weeks ago (September 25th), my husband and I celebrated our 1st anniversary.  We went to Mackinac Island for the weekend.  Here's what I wore out for our anniversary dinner:
Dress: Anthropologie Tupelo Dress
Cardigan: Anthropologie Anza Cardi
Tights: Simply Vera via Kohls
Bag: Modcloth September Trip Satchel

There are no cars or any motorized vehicles allowed on Mackinac Island, so everyone rides bikes or rides in horse drawn carriages.  The restaurant we went to was set back in the middle of the island in the woods (appropriately called The Woods), so we took a nice carriage ride to get there.  When I called to make the reservation, I had mentioned it was our anniversary only because I wanted to request a nice romantic table in a quiet area of the restaurant.  When we arrived, we were indeed escorted to a nice little table that was up on a platform overlooking the rest of the restaurant.  It definitely was a very romantic and delicious dinner.  Just when we thought things couldn't possibly get any better, our waiter surprised us with this:
Yes, it was just as delectable as it was beautiful!

Our trip away was just what I needed to snap me out of the "funk" I'd been in for the past few weeks.  The fall weather was gorgeous, the island was so quiet and peaceful, and most importantly it was so nice to spend the day alone with my husband being stress-free and just enjoying each other's company.  Here are some more pics from our trip.

View of the island from the mainland before we took the ferry over:

Bike trail around the island:

View of the Mackinac Bridge:

Some views of downtown Mackinac Island from our hotel room balcony:

Some views from up on the east bluff of the island:

The elevator door inside our hotel (I thought it was so pretty & unique I just couldn't resist sharing!):
Our hotel at night:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A quick hoot-lo

I started back at work last week for teacher/staff PD and work days and then school officially started the day after Labor Day.  Needless to say, these past two weeks have been so busy and very tiring!  My body has yet to snap out of my "summer time" schedule, which means I've been staying up really late and then end up hitting the snooze eight million times trying to avoid getting up early!  Funny thing is, even after being tired all day, once a reasonable bedtime rolls around I'm not even tired and stay up late once again!!  And so the cycle has continued for almost 2 weeks.....I really need to force myself to adjust so I'm not so exhausted at 6am!  I've been so tired when I got home that I haven't been taking outfit pics, but today I forced myself.  Hopefully this is the start of getting back into a routine.

Skirt: TJ Maxx
Top: Banana Republic Outlet
Cardi: Target
Flats: via Sears
Necklace: LOFT Outlet

My corny post title refers to this little owl necklace I picked up on sale at LOFT outlet a few weeks ago.
I'd been wanting some type of owl jewelry for a while now and had seen many while brousing online.  I found this one to be the cutest one I'd seen, plus it was cheap, so it was a no brainer.

It went from being 95 last Friday, down to the 60s/low 70s this week.  I am loving the cooler weather and it really has officially made it seem like fall here.  A teeny tiny part of me hopes it will warm back up just for a few days so I can get a final wear out of a couple skirts/dresses that I consider spring/summer only.  However, mostly I'm just excited to finally start wearing cardis, fall colors, and tights!!!  Are you excited for the fall weather or do you wish that summer would stick around a little longer???

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Quickie Anthro Review

Sorry...I mentioned about a week and a half ago that I had some Anthro reviews to share, but I completely forgot until now!!

Dots Within Blouse - $118
Let's start with the positives.  I love the gorgeous green color and print of this blouse.  The silk seems to be of great quality - very smooth and soft.  This reminds me of last winter's Precious Particulars Blouse, but better (as in, more my style and a little more casual).  Although other reviews complained about the sleeve length being too short, it was perfect on me.  The v-neck was not too low cut and I love the ties.  I also felt the overall length was just right - could be easily tucked in or worn out. 
Now for the negative - the fit!  This is a size 12 (I always wear a size 12, sometimes a 10 in blouses), but this way WAY too tight in the bust and upper arms/shoulders.  So tight in fact, that I nearly had a panic attack trying to get it off.  It look a lot of manuvering and I'm so shocked that I was finally able to get it off without either ripping it or calling for help!  I would definitely recommend sizing up in this one.  I'm going to wait it out and see if the 14 makes it to sale in hopes of a better fit.

Note: I tried this on right after I finally got the Dots Within Blouse off...notice my very red upper arms from the trauma of wrestling it off..haha!
Anyway, this tank has been on my wishlist all summer, but I was underwhelmed in person.  I sized down to a medium and it fit pretty well, so I'd say it runs about a size big.  In my opinion, the material was just too thin and semi-sheer to justify full price.  I would imagine this tank will hit sale soon, but I'm going to pass.  The colors of the flowers just seem too bright to transition into fall.  Plus, the best part of this tank is the back lace-up detail which would be hidden when worn with cardis or jackets.

I just love this in the navy bird print!  I have this same blouse from last winter in the blue floral print (then called the Eastpointe Garden top) and I've gotten a ton of wear out of it.  I grabbed a 10 (shown in the first two pics) since that is the size I bought in the Eastpointe Garden.  This one seems to run even bigger than the Eastpointe did.  The size 10 was very loose and the underarms hung down pretty low.  Plus, the ruffles seemed to poof out a lot making me worry that it wouldn't layer very well under a cardi.  I tried on the size 8 (third pic) and although the bust was a bit tighter, it seemed to fit better overall.  This size seems like it wouldn't cause nearly as much bulk in the shoulders when layered underneath a cardi.  So, with this one I'd say definitely size down at least 1, if not 2, sizes.  I plan to pick this one up soon either next time I visit the store or before free shipping runs out.

Mystery Cardi
This isn't online yet, but the colors caught my attention in the store so I decided to try it on.  On the rack, the large looked too big, so I grabbed a medium to try on.  However, once on I realized I really should have gotten the large because the medium did not even come close to buttoning.  So, I'd say it does run true to size.  I must admit, the only thing I really like about this cardi is the coloring.  The bright pink looks great with the neutral taupe and I like how the wrists and front pockets are trimmed in the pink.  Now the cons: this is a wool blend and was really itchy...not at all soft and/or comfortable.  It was also really stiff which made it hang kind of strangely.  If this were made of a different material or even a softer wool blend, I'd definitely consider it. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Like it, LOVE it, Gotta have it!

I had a sudden inkling to brouse the Fossil website the other day specifically to check out their fall handbags.  I'm so glad I did because I fell in love with this clutch as soon as I saw it. 

I just love the pops of orange and teal in the wool plaid and the brown leather trim looks delicious.  This just screams, "I'm the perfect fall accessory...please buy me!"  So, I plan to happily oblige and order this clutch on Friday.  My rationale is that my paycheck will have an added bonus included from some of my summer work, so I deserve to treat myself!  Review to come as soon as I receive it :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Climate Control Weekend

After the rain rolled in for most of the day on Saturday, the temperature significantly cooled off.  I figured it was the perfect opportunity to finally wear my Climate Control Cardi that I picked up on sale last month.  It's been hanging on the outside of my closet ever since just waiting to be worn.  I've been admiring it's brilliant turquoise shade and am so glad the weather finally cooperated enough for me to wear it. 

In fact, I was so delighted to finally wear it that I wore it two days in a row!

Saturday night for dinner out with my husband:
Cardigan: Anthropologie Climate Control Cardi (on sale, but sold out online)
Dress: LOFT Outlet
Cami: The Limited
Shoes: Peep Toe Espadrille Flats via Payless
Necklace: Anthropologie Kusari Necklace
Bracelets: Anthropologie Paper Origin bracelet
Watch: TOKYObay Oversized Boyfriend Watch via Garnett Hill (other colors here)

Today during an afternoon of running errands and grocery shopping:
Cardigan: Anthropologie Climate Control Cardi
Tank: Anthropologie Cygnus Tank
Jeans: Calvin Klein Boyfriend Denim Capris via Macys
Flip Flops: Bass Outlet
Earrings: Banana Republic Outlet
Watch & Bracelets: Same as first outfit

Target was one of my stops during my afternoon of running errands.  I picked up "The Help" after hearing so much hype about both the movie and the book.  My plan is to read the book and then go see the movie!  I heard the movie has a lot of to-die-for vintage outfits and dresses....can't wait to see it!  Has anyone else read the book and/or seen the movie yet?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Best Anthro Sale Score Ever! {plus weekend ramblings}

This weekend my husband and I went to the Cleveland area to visit my parents, brother, and some friends.  On Saturday we did a little bit of shopping.  We stopped in at the Anthro closest to my parents' house because I had a couple returns to make.  Since we had several places to go and not much time before we were supposed to meet up with my brother for his birthday, I promised my husband I was only going to run in to return my items and just glance in the sale room.  You see, I was secretly hoping that the Ardennes Skirt (which I had bought online at full price, but then returned to this location back in the beginning of April) might still be in the sale room.  It was a long shot, since it had been marked down 3 times since it hit sale months ago, but I really wanted it back after seeing so many lovely bloggers wear it so well!  As soon as I stepped into the sale room, I spotted it!  I was so excited to see it really was still there 4 and a half months later!!  The only bad thing is the skirt is very delicate and you could tell it had see a lot of wear and tear (via numerous try-ons and customers digging through the racks).  There is a tear in the seam right below where the zipper stops and many lose threads.  Due to the damage, I was able to get an extra 20% off...bring my total to $15.97 + tax.  The original price was $128, so that means I got an 87.5% discount!!  BEST ANTHRO SALE SCORE EVER!!!
Before I can actully wear this skirt, I'm going to get the minor damages repaired.  Luckily, my mother in law is an excellent seamstress and I'm sure she can easily fix this up like new!  For now, here's a sneak peak.

A new Anthro recently opened in the Cleveland's actually not too far out of the way on our way back to Michigan.  I was bound and determined to convince my husband to let me stop at this Anthro too.  Well, I admit, I bribed him a little.... After hearing some of our friends and family rave about Five Guys burgers, he really wanted to go.  I'm really not a burger eater, so it wasn't my first choice for lunch.  But, after seeing that there is one right by the newest Anthro, I suggested that we go to Five Guys for lunch today and that I would buy if he let me go in and try some things on in Anthro.  He quickly agreed and it was a win-win situation!  That's what marriage is all about...compromise (and a little bribery now and then :)  Haha!
Plus, I'm really glad we ended up trying Five Guys.  It was delicious.  Seriously, now I understand what all the hype is about.  I don't usually care for burgers, but I devoured this one.  So good!!  Definitely check it out if you haven't been before. 
Anyway, the new Anthro store was great!  It's in Crocker Park on the west side of Cleveland.  I tried on a few things (I'll post some pics tomorrow), almost bought one full-price item, but was a good girl and restrained.  The sale section was pretty decent.  I just did a quick run-through since I was trying to be a nice wife and not make him wait forever for me.  I guess I used all my Anthro sale-section luck on the Ardennes skirt yesterday.  A few items jumped out at me (only because I either already own or have tried on all these items?!)  Anyway, if you are looking for the Sailboat skirt (size 0,2, or 4), Readymade dress (size 0,2 & either 4 or 6), or Gauzy Tiers skirt in navy and white in every size except large or x-large give them a call!

What was your Best Anthro Sale Score Ever???

Thursday, August 11, 2011

OOTD: Vintage J. Crew

Okay, my outfit isn't technically made up of vintage J. Crew items.  However, the skirt is about 4-5 years old and this is the last time I remember seeing a skirt this length, shape, as brightly colored, or with pockets at J. Crew.  So, in my opinion, that makes it darn near vintage!  And although the tee is a new purchase, it actually says "vintage" on there you go!

Tee: J. Crew outlet
Skirt: J. Crew (circa 2007?)
Shoes: Anthropologie Strappy Stepper Shoes
Bracelets: Anthropologie Paper Origin Bracelet 

I think I've talked about these shoes before, but I just gotta say again how much I love them!  Cute details and comfortable enough to wear all day.  I'm going to wear them as much as possible before it gets too cold for sandals!
What spring/summer item(s) do you plan on wearing a lot before it gets too cold out???

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Vintage look-alike {add another to the fall wishlist}

I don't know why or how, but I started receiving catalogs from Garnett Hill about a year or so ago.  I've seen several cute things, but never ordered anything until about a months ago during their summer sale & clearance.  I was pleasantly surprised with the items I bought (this, this, & this).  They are all what I would consider well-made and high quality.  Plus, they had great customer service and fast shipping. Some new fall items were recently added and I am drooling over this skirt:
I'm a total sucker for floral patterns and when you throw in the vintage twist, I'm hooked.  Love the way they styled it here too....I'm already dreaming up fall outfits with tights, boots, and cardis.
At first sight the print immediately reminded me of several semi-recent Anthro items.

Verdant Slip Dress

Decade-By-Decade Skirt

I loved the print of both of these pretty Anthro items, but sadly the shape/fit didn't work out for me on either.  Now, instead of green/mint I'm drawn to the fall appeal of the rusty orange. 

Do any of you receive Garnett Hill catalogs?  Have you ever ordered anything from them?