01 September 2014

one in, one out: july & aug 2014

for each clothing, shoe, and accessory purchase i make this year, i am donating/selling/recycling a comparable item in an effort to better manage my closet.  check out my "one in, one out" tag for more of these monthly posts!

so, amidst my blogging slump i didn't get my july one in, one out post published yet i had it all written and ready to go.  so, in an effort to keep up with this process throughout the year, i'm including both july and august's one in, one out posts here.  i won't blame you if you don't read it in its entirety since it's pretty wordy!

most of my purchases from july were from the goodwill - my mom was in town and we made the rounds to all of the goodwills in the area, and i actually had quite a bit of thrifting success.  even better, my local stores have been giving away 25% off coupons with a donation, so i had a coupon to use on all of my purchases since wouldn't you know i could never seem to find anything the right colored tag that was on sale!

my biggest splurge in july was $30 worth of jewelry from a coworker.  he makes necklaces and bracelets out of beads and rolled up cereal boxes.  at first i wasn't sure if it was my style and i felt a little pressured to buy something when it he was showcasing it for a bunch of us, but i liked the idea of supporting this creative hobby of his, especially since his proceeds go to an orphanage in another country he and his wife support. sorry i don't have a picture of the jewelry but i'll point it out when i wear one of the pieces in a future post!

{what came in}

*world market navy stud earrings 3.40 4.99
world market gray pearl stud earrings 3.40 4.99
*world market coral dangle earrings 3.40 4.99
*seychelles wedges (thredup/17.49) 2.18
j crew factory paisley scarf  (thredup/6.49) 2.18
*br factory emerald blouse (thredup/7.49) 2.18
*simply vera wang red blouse (thredup/9.49) 2.17
*daisy fuentes floral blouse (thredup/9.49) 2.17
merona brown tweed skirt (thredup/8.49) 2.17 24.99
j crew factory embroidered peasant top - navy 10.92 69.50
j crew factory lightweight printed scarf - linen fuchsia 3.56 39.50
j crew factory buttoned peasant top - gray 19.65 75
*handmade yellow stone necklace 20.00 20
*handmade green stone bracelet 10.00 10
merona lace top - yellow (gw) 5.24 19.99
gilligan & o'malley pajama pants - gray (new-gw) 2.24 12.99
merona 3/4 sleeve striped/floral print tee (new-gw) 3.74 12.99
j crew purple floral skirt (nwt - gw) 11.24 110
*cabi jordan almond pencil skirt - mint green (gw) 3.74
*merona tweed pencil skirt - rose (gw) 2.24
*apt 9 magenta/purple floral tunic (gw) 3.74
merona orange print v-neck cardigan (new-gw) 3.74 22.99
merona cocoon cardigan - orange (new-gw) 3.74 22.99
mossimo square scarf - floral print (new-gw) 1.49 16.99
*ann taylor loft chambray slacks (gw) 5.24
j crew buffalo check boy shirt (gw) 5.24
*j crew navy swing blazer (gw) 6.74


*not pictured

{what went out}

so, i've passed the halfway mark in the year of this one in, one out challenge and i admit that it's getting a little more difficult finding a comparable item to get rid of for each that i purchase.  i eliminated a lot of clothes from my closet last month that didn't coincide with one in, one out, so my decisions were harder to make this month since my pool of clothes i feel "so-so" about isn't as large.  hopefully this will lead me to make wiser clothing purchases in months to come but i definitely still spend based on my immediate attraction toward an item.

i also purchased three scarves this month, but i've found i really like to bring some visual interest to my outfits with this accessory... but i don't have any scarves i really want to get rid of so that's why you see the two purses above that i'm getting rid of instead of two scarves.  i feel i have to personally decide what an appropriate number of scarves is to own and not go beyond that figure once i reach it.  that's the tricky part though, isn't it?  deciding how many pairs of shoes, pairs of earrings, pairs of pants is "enough."  i'm really not sure that there is a magic equation to determine that answer for myself or anyone, so i'm just going to play it by ear!

unlike last month, i didn't do any thrifting this month!  instead i reverted back to shopping online, making purchases at gap/old navy, maidenform, and j crew factory.  i also made some purchases at our state fair: two necklaces, a t-shirt, and a hat - wouldn't you know it was so sunny and the hat i thought i put in my purse went missing.  i have no idea what happened to it!  i was so cranky with the sun in my face that the $13 hat was money well spent even though i definitely do not need any more baseball hats.  target also had an awesome cartwheel for 25% off shoes, clothing, jewelry, scarves, belts, socks, etc and since it worked on clearance items, i ended up getting a clearance necklace and scarf both for less than $4.  are you cartwheeling yet?  i absolutely love the savings i get from it!

{what came in}

item purchased $ paid original
gap straight piped pants - navy 21.59 59.95
old navy striped hooded pullover 12.75 24.94
gap 1969 real straight jeans 16.78 69.95
j crew factory eyelet peasant top - rose (26.24) ppal 79.50
j crew factory colorblock baseball tee (22.13) ppal 39.50
*bra ppal 38
*bra ppal 34
*bra ppal 38
*shapewear ppal 6.94
*underwear 6.17 6.50
*underwear 9 10.94
old navy tie-front sleeveless shirt - white 8.38 22.94
*i like you "likers gonna like" t-shirt 13.33 20
*simonson's jewelry bead cluster necklace 8 8
*simonson's jewerly mint green bead necklace 6 6
the current "great music lives here" baseball hat 13.50 15
target three flower cluster gold/white necklace 3.88 16.99
merona navy diamond printed scarf 3.19 14.99
all pro 7 pack athletic socks 7.84 11
MN twins dozier deck t-shirt (free with tix) 0 0


*not pictured

{what went out}

you'll also have to take my word for it that i did get rid of an appropriate number of old bras, underwear, and socks!

looking ahead to the rest of the year, i'd like to focus on spending less.  i know this is such a cliche statement for someone to make who enjoys fashion and shopping as one of her main hobbies, but it just has not been enjoyable lately.  i mean, half the purchases i made this month were underwear and socks - a necessity, sure, but how fun is that?!  i have so many clothes in my closet that don't fit right, and two pairs of jeans i ordered from old navy this month in the exact style & size of jeans i already own didn't fit.  sure, it may not be me... it may be the way those particular jeans were manufactured, but it's frustrating when clothes don't fit properly and feeds into the discouragement i already have about my weight.  so, i'm making the choice of not thrifting and if i do get lured into any online purchases (like using that gapcash & old navy supercash that will be eligible to redeem soon...), i'll try to purchase items i know i need (ex: short sleeved blouses) and in a style that will work for me regardless of how my weight fluctuates in either direction ("forgiving" tops and looser arm sleeves seems to be what i need right now).

thanks for visiting!  linking up again with fran.

27 August 2014

chunky necklace.


loft scalloped ruffle sweater   ·   merona doubleweave skirt
fioni carissa flats   ·   simonson's jewelry necklace

i had a really fun time at the minnesota state fair monday and i have plans to go back again next weekend  before it wraps up. one dose of fried pickles just isn't enough for me!  i also may need to stop by my favorite jewelry vendor again and grab a other necklace or two. i bought the necklace i'm wearing today from them (i couldn't resist the colorful chunky beads that will be fun to build outfits around) but there were a couple others i had my eye on. last year i bought this necklace and this one. i always enjoy supporting local merchants and this jewelry vendor has become one of my favorite ones to check out at our state fair.  thanks for visiting!

get the look:  similar sweater / exact skirt / similar flats / similar necklace

26 August 2014

book review: one + one

one + one by jojo moyes

i'm back with another review of a jojo moyes book, this time of her newest novel one + one.  i was excited, yet apprehensive to read another one of her books based on the reaction i had after reading me before you {find that review here}.  i am happy to say this one left with me with nearly as much emotion -  minus the tears.

ed is a software developer, and in in a series of poor choices he finds himself in the middle of a legal dispute for insider trading at his own company.  jess is a single mother of a quirky daughter who excels at math and a misunderstood, bullied step-son.  jess can barely make ends meet for her family from housecleaning jobs and bar-tending at the local pub.  when ed and jess's lives intersect, they find they both may be able to help one another fit together the pieces of their broken lives to create something entirely new and amazing.

i loved the characters in this book.  i felt like i really understood jess's struggles, the personalities of her kids, and how well-intentioned ed was.  i think this was accomplished as the author chose to alternate the focus of a different character each chapter.  i've noticed more novels i read use this form of storytelling, but i found jojo moyes did it in a unique way by keeping the third person voice throughout the novel while still alternating the spotlight to each character.  and even though you assume the primary focus of the book is on the adult characters, the book would have gone nowhere without the addition of the two younger ones.

have you read any of jojo moyes' novels?  i'm off to add more to my reading queue!

25 August 2014

last week's looks {aug 18-22}

hey blog friends!  just a quick post from me to show what i wore last week.  i'm going to try my hardest to get my week in review page up to date... i am so behind!  but at least i have this one ready to go and add to the mix.

our 12 day state fair started a couple days ago and since it ends right before schools start everyone you talk to is lamenting the end of summer.  i can't say that i've really done anything out of the ordinary this summer aside from moving - that was definitely enough excitement for me!  i'm looking forward to going to the fair, though, and eating my weight in cheese curds, fried pickles, and maybe a new state fair food or two.  does your state/county have a big fair?

here's what i wore this week:

monday:  old navy blouse {similar} / thrifted express slacks {similar} / jessica simpson oscar heels {similar} / target necklace {similar}
tuesday: old navy plaid {similar} / merona skirt {similar} / payless mary janes {similar}
wednesday: j crew eyelet peasant top {exact} / gap straight piped pants {exact} / payless karmen heels {exact} / forever 21 necklace {similar}
thursday: old navy crochet lace top  {similar} / merona skirt  {similar} / payless claire flats {exact} /  target necklace  {similar}

i first saw the gap pants i wore on wednesday on caroline, and i have been stalking them every since.  i finally purchased them during a 40% off promo and got them for about $21.  it's nice to have another pair of pants to add to my work wardrobe, but i'm not sure that i like the way i look in straight pants or ankle pants when i compare the way i look in boot-cut pants, like the pair i wore monday.  i think my thighs are too big so they end up looking too tapered by the time they reach my ankles... but i may also just be having a hard time looking at myself in those cuts of pants objectively since i don't look the way i want to in them.  well anyway, i'm definitely going to keep them around as they're the perfect length to wear with flats and don't look too bad with heels, either, as i've worn them here.

enjoy the rest of your weekend!

18 August 2014

book review: panic

panic by lauren oliver

i'm finding that since i purchased my ipad i have been a reading fanatic.  i can't remember the last time (sadly) that i picked up an actual book, and since i've moved i've cut my book collection in half.  i never thought i would be one of "those people" who reads solely on an e-reader, but it just feels so much easier! 

my local library system works has an app to check out e-books for free and it has been awesome browsing through the different categories of books and finding new ones to read.  i've been able to discover great books that i never would have found at the bookstore--or let's be real, the goodwill, because i can't remember the last time i purchased a book at a bookstore!  

anyway, i found this book under the love & romance category of the juvenile fiction section, though i would classify it almost more as suspense.  the word PANIC evokes such strong emotions and that sentiment is definitely carried all throughout this book.

in the tiny town of carp, new york there is little to do during the summers.  a secretive annual event was started for seniors called panic in which everyone in the school pays into a pot and the successor at the end of a series of harrowing challenges wins the money--we're talking tens of thousands of dollars. one's entry into the competition is jumping off a tall platform into a lake.  heather never had any intention of doing just that, but when she sees her boyfriend making out with someone else her feet are drawn to the ledge... and she's in.

this book follows the lives of heather and her friends and the challenges they participate in as a part of panic... from spending the night in a haunted house to stealing an object from the house of the town recluse.  each character has his or her own reasons for entering, their own muddy waters to navigate in their personal lives, and many more challenges to overcome than the harrowing ones the anonymous judges of panic place before them.

i found this book to be really well written for one geared toward a younger demographic.  i'm not often drawn toward suspense, mysteries, horror, or other genres of the like, but this book's themes of friendship, family, and finding out who one is and one's place in the larger world definitely took prominence and that's what kept me reading.

14 August 2014

summer garden.

old navy white lace tee   ·   talbots blazer {thrifted}
j crew watercolor garden skirt {thrifted}   ·   fergalicious irene pumps

i definitely still love this skirt just as much as the first time i wore it, even though that was only a couple weeks ago.  i was just really eager to remix it and it's one of the few skirts i own that fits really well.  of course i had to grab my fun green blazer and a matching necklace... i just couldn't help but coordinate with the colors in the skirt.  i definitely felt like i was in a garden all day!  one of these days i'll put together a recap post of all of the ways i've worn this green blazer as i'm a little abashed i've only written posts for two of the outfits but there have been many, many more!

speaking of gardens, now that i live in a place where i actually have a deck (and a really huge one at that!), we are trying to master the art of gardening.  so far we have some herbs that we stuck in a planter box and some lettuce in the other.  the lettuce is coming up slowly but surely; it has been really fun watching it grow!  now i just have to make sure we dream up some recipes to use the chives, basil, and mint that are cooking in the other planter.

have you ever tried planter gardening, or are you lucky enough to have a plot in your yard that you can dedicate to a true garden?

get the look:  similar blazer / similar tee / similar skirt / similar necklace / exact heels

13 August 2014


merona head to toe

thanks everyone on your support on my post the other day. your comments were so sweet and supportive and really gave me that extra push to get back to a place where i am happier with myself and it helps knowing i'm no the only one going through these issues!

i felt great in this outfit and loved the addition of the yellow belt and matching yellow flats. i haven't felt like i've been taking many color risks lately so i grabbed a matching yellow belt out of a big box where all of my belts currently live in a tangled up mess.  i really liked the outcome with the orange and navy.

linking up with andi & kate's navy week. thanks for visiting!

get the look:  exact cardigan / similar button down / similar skirt / exact belt / exact flats

11 August 2014

last week's looks: aug 4-8

it's okay, you can write me down as the worst blogger in the world!  just in case you were wondering if i'm still alive, here's what i wore last week.  i've just been so unhappy with my weight and body that i haven't wanted to post any pictures of myself at all.  in fact, it's hard to look at this round-up of pictures and notice the difference between the first two pictures and how differently those two different pairs of pants fit me.  it's no fun to try to get dressed when none of your clothes fit as you remember them fitting even a year ago, and it's even less fun posting pictures on an online forum where you can't control who sees them or what critique they are giving from behind their screens when you're already feeling so self-conscious!

i'm pleased to say that there's a plethora of trails out my back door though and i've found a circuit that adds up to just over 2 miles that i've been incorporating into my daily routine.  my sister also helped me finally fix my bicycle tire whose tube has been broken for several years now, so i'm hoping she and i can also go on bike rides in the evenings.  so health is becoming a priority again, which feels good.  so anyway, that's about it on my end... just trying to get back into a healthy routine and hopefully have fun getting dressed again because lately it's just not been fun at all!  i hope everyone out there is doing well!

monday:  j crew factory eyelet front top / thrifted loft slacks / thrifted mossimo wedges
tuesday: loft lace trim tee / thrifted express slacks / thredupped j crew factory scarf / blowfish mesa wedges
wednesday: j crew factory peasant blouse / loft chain link print ankle pants / chinese laundry nima wedges
thursday: j crew factory scalloped lace top / thrifted mossimo slacks / restricted slice it wedges
friday: thrifted j crew buffalo check shirt / old navy sweetheart skinny jeans / mossimo ona flats

01 August 2014

flowy peasant.

j crew factory peasant blouse   ·   loft diamond-print pants
chinese laundry nima wedges

i browse j crew or j crew factory online once in a while but i usually resist the temptation to put in an order unless there is a really good sale.  i haven't been able to resist the temptation lately though as i've put in an order the past two months!  the first order i placed was the week i moved in june and i had it shipped to my new address, but there was major confusion between j crew factory and the post office and the universe at large and the package never got to me.  i will say that j crew factory customer service is excellent and they helped locate the package when it was returned to them and had it reshipped to me.  unfortunately, it was shipped to the wrong address (gah!) but finally UPS came through and told me where it had been delivered, and i was able to retrieve it from that homeowner who just had the package stashed in her garage.  due to all this mess, j crew factory gave me a $25 gift card... and of course i put it to use right away in conjunction with another sale.  i ordered this top, the scarf i wore yesterday, and this blouse.  i'm glad i was able to obtain the previous package, too, but i hope to never have to go through that again!  have you ever had similar shipping issues?

anyway, i feel like i pretty much know my size in the brands i often wear, but this "peasant" blouse is a bit more loose and flowy.  it bothered me for a while because i like my tops to be fitted, but i think it looks okay now that i see a picture of myself wearing it.  if i really feel adventurous i can slim the sides a bit with my sewing machine, but i'm embracing the relaxed, peasant look today with these printed pants that i'm still really enjoying!

have a great weekend!

get the look:  exact blouse / exact pants / exact wedges