21 July 2014

watercolor garden.

j crew watercolor garden pencil skirt {thrifted}
talbots white ruffle blouse {thrifted}
merona erin heels

i was a little stunned to stumble upon this skirt at the goodwill yesterday, brand new with tags attached and back vent still sewn shut.  it always gives me a little thrill to find a brand new, high quality item - i tend to look around to see who else may be watching in case they, too, recognize the value of the item i have in my hands!  the higher price tag of $14.99 didn't bother me in the slightest since i knew i would never find this skirt for that price on a site like ebay, and i have a feeling it was only priced that high to begin with because the $110 price tag was still attached and gave a clue to the employee doing the pricing that this was originally an expensive skirt.  lucky for me, i had a 25% off coupon to use so this skirt came to a whopping $11.24--a tenth of the original price!  i think that's pretty awesome!

my mom is in town and we're basically hitting up all of the goodwills within a 20 mile radius, so i should give her the credit for bringing me the thrifting luck.  i've thrifted some other goodies that i'm excited to introduce to my closet and our successful goodwill trips so far have reminded me how fun it is to add new clothes to my closet for just a few bucks!

have you scored any great thrifted finds lately?  this skirt will probably rank up there was one of my best!

15 July 2014

book review: me before you

me before you by jojo moyes

this was quite possibly the most stunningly beautiful and heart-wrenching book i've ever read.  it made me cry streaming tears, clearly an outward reflection of my emotion more powerful than any words i could find to utter.  but i'll try!

i know i get caught up in my own life: my routine, my abilities, my hopes for some distant future.  i'm brought down out of my own head when i interact with one of my residents who has suffered from multiple strokes, who cannot ambulate independently and must use a power wheelchair with controls manipulated with one working hand, who asks me to remove the cap from a tube of chapstick or make a special mug of hot chocolate that frustrates other staff because it means extra time devoted to this one task when there are hundreds of others to complete.  i get out of my head when i walk heads above one of my residents whose wheelchair is the primary form of transportation now after a leg amputation, both of mine still working perfectly fine, carrying me from task to task, objective to objective, searching for the words in my heart to acknowledge that home may never be place of return, that my nursing facility may be the place where the rest of what could have been (i'm sure of it) an energetic and engaged life must now be lived.

this book, too, brought me back down.  it's love story for sure, but not in the typical boy-meets-girl easy-going romance.  i like those types of happy stories because they're safe and they give me a world to escape into that doesn't seem too far-fetched from what could be in my own life.  this book didn't afford that lighthearted reality of love between two able-bodied individuals.  but that's not always really real life, right?  i think that's why this book hit me so hard - and why i loved it so much.

me before you is about a sheltered, stuck young woman, louisa, who lost her menial job and is forced to find another job to support her family.  with no qualifications whatsoever, she accepts an ad to become a caregiver for a quadriplegic man named will.  he has a sharp mind and a witty tongue but is trapped in a body that has failed him, like i see with so many of my residents every day.  she breaks through to him and they develop a mutually-beneficial relationship, but the man has already made up his mind that his life as a quad is not a life that is his despite everyone trying to convince him otherwise... and louisa has to decide whether it's worth the effort to keep trying to make him see beauty, fun, and how love can be possible in this new life of his or to let him take over the controls and make that decision for himself.

i don't like to read reviews of books i've already read because i don't want others opinions to taint the feeling i was personally left with after reading a book - and for the same reason i try to keep my reviews here pretty simplistic and vague so i don't insert too many of my own opinions that you may carry with you if you decide to read one of the books i've reviewed.  so i'll just add that i would simply recommend this book if you want to be moved.  if you want to transport yourself into someone else's shoes for a while.  and if you want to read about a different perspective of love in what could only be described as the toughest catch-22 you'll hope you never have to experience for yourself.

(side note:  don't read this book if you're not prepared for bawling like a baby at the very end!)

10 July 2014

the usual.

analee & hope blouse {via thredup*}
j crew factory pencil skirt   ·   chaps blazer {thrifted}
american eagle (payless brand) heels

this outfit is definitely feels like the usual me... pencil skirt, printed top, fitted blazer.  i tried it on with a cardigan first but it just didn't feel right... you know?  cardigans felt like my signature item years ago but i don't wear them as often as layering pieces anymore.  i built up such a collection of solid colored cardigans but i don't have enough printed tops to mix and match them with.  it's kind of funny how a solid colored blazer worked better with this outfit though.  does this make any sense?!  it was enough to confuse me, so i'll just end this post here!

get the look: similar blouse / similar blazer / this season's pencil skirt / similar heels

*join thredup through my referral link above and we both get $10.  yay!

08 July 2014

in the navy.

merona lace crew neck top & merona skirt
cl by laundry nima wedges   ·   our world boutique bliss necklace

i put in a pretty big target.com order recently and this top was included in it. i kind of love anything with a lace or crochet detail these days and realized i needed some navy tops in my closet, so this fit the bill perfectly. plus, it was about $8!  i love getting good deals online since it seems like they are harder to come by compared to stumbling upon 70% off clearance racks in the store. my only gripe is that it's a bit short in length - not a big deal if it's tucked into skirts, but i'll have to see how it works worn untucked with jeans or pants.  i would definitely recommend it though!

get the look:  exact blouse / similar skirt / exact wedges / exact necklace

07 July 2014

book review: attachments

attachments by rainbow rowell

it's the age of constant connection, and the courier, a small newspaper in iowa, hires lincoln to manage their internet security.  this basically means working the night shift and monitoring email communication exchanged between coworkers.  if someone transmits an inappropriate joke or email containing vulgar or swear words, he shoots off a warning email... but most of his time is spend sitting at his desk, pining over a lost love, and wondering what the hell he's doing with his life. 

lincoln's workdays get a bit more interesting when a series of emails between beth & jennifer, two friends who work in different departments at the newspaper, begin appearing as flagged in lincoln's email security program.  he is immediately drawn into their casual & witty correspondence to one another - and and pretty soon lincoln's too far in to send them that warning email.  things get even more complicated when he finds himself falling for one of the girls and wants to continue to get to know her through her emails to her friend.

this book was so cleverly written and just FUN to read.  the chapters alternated between standard fiction prose of lincoln's character and emails exchanged between beth & jennifer.  i loved the banter between those two characters; it was so real and true - i could imagine myself chatting that way with one of my oldest, best friends.

i would definitely recommend this book if you're looking for a sweet, engaging read, if you like to root for underdogs... and if you've ever wondered if there's anyone out there really reading your emails at work (i'm sure there is.  but is he as cute as lincoln?!). 

05 July 2014

red, white, and yellow

j crew shell {thrifted}
old navy cardigan & pants
merona emma flats

i hope everyone had a wonderful and safe 4th of july yesterday!  i spent the day spectating at a half marathon my sister ran, then we spent a couple hours assembling a grill!  it was worth it in the end to enjoy a nice grilled meal but boy, was it intensive!  hopefully there aren't many more items we may purchase that require assembly because i'm getting kind of sick of using screwdrivers.  please bear with my blogging schedule though as i'm still figuring out the lighting in this space and trying to find time to put blog posts together when i am so exhausted by the end of the day.  i've said it before, but moving is hard!

this is an outfit i wore on thursday - how fun are these shoes?!  they felt a little bright at first but i got used to them throughout the day and they didn't feel any different from my brought coral shoes. i'd always rather be colorful and bright, though, i think it makes people (including me) happy!
there are a few colors in stock of these emma flats from target that are on clearance, plus if you buy any two clearance items you automatically get 10% off, so that is the deal i took advantage of when purchasing these shoes.  $17 seemed like a great deal for flats that are real leather and so comfortable!
thanks for visiting and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

get the look:  similar shell / similar cardigan / exact pants / exact flats

02 July 2014

j crew floral.

j crew skirt & axcess blazer {both via thredup*}
old navy lace top   ·   merona bella flats
target gold necklace

not much to say about this outfit other than, oh this is so me!  and oh how the blazer was necessary most of the day... there is an a/c vent right above my head in my office and it pumps out some cold air.  usually i am pretty adaptable with varying temperatures indoors/outdoors but this has me reaching for a fleece jacket at times.  i've learned to just dress for the environment though, even if it means a button-down and sweater in july one day and a long-sleeve blazer the next.  at least the added layers add some additional visual interest to the outfit! 

both this skirt and blazer were recent thredup purchases... oh darn you, kimmie, for introducing me to this website!  just kidding... i love it.  for whatever reason i'm just not getting to my local goodwills as often, but browsing thredup seems like thrifting to me.  and if you haven't signed up yet you can use my referral link and get $15 off your first purchase through july 6th (and i'll receive $15 too, which i'm pretty certain i won't have any trouble spending!).

thanks for visiting!

01 July 2014

one in, one out: june 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!

i've been trying to decide whether or not it would be useful to write up a " one in, one out" post for the month of june. i moved mid-month and, well, that just made life crazy. i donated about 14 items to the goodwill as i was packing up my closet to prevent moving items i decided i would never wear and i sent off another 31 items to thredup in one of their clean out bags. there was just too much going on & too much stuff everywhere to specifically parcel out a particular item to get rid of for each item i bought, though, but i definitely got rid of more items (about 44) than i purchased (26), so i'm just going to call it a draw!

{what came in}

item purchased $ paid original $
merona textured 3/4 sleeve top - black/white 6.54 22.99
merona basketweave blazer - black 8.32 34.99
american eagle bayley twist flat (11.25) ppal 24.99
american eagle justify oxford shootie (11.25) ppal 39.99
brash gypsy hoop trio earrings (6.13) ppal 12.99
minicci stone statement necklace (9.12) ppal 16.99
j crew factory eyelet-front top - strawberry 20.25 62.5
j crew factory lightweight long printed scarf 11.86 39.5
j crew factory clare pullover - sea glass 15.46 49.5
merona navy print scarf 3.92 14.99
c9 sports bra 3.92
old navy slub tee - mint/silver print 7.50 12.94
old navy skinny boyfriend khakis - navy 9.89 29.94
old navy white eyelet shirt 2.08 24.94
old navy nude v-neck cami 2.00 4.5
merona satchel handbag - navy 14.94 34.99
merona emma flats - lemon 17.08 39.99
merona lace top - orange 13.75 22.99
merona lace top - berry cobbler 13.75 22.99
merona crewneck lace top - navy 8.54 24.99
annalee + hope flowy blouse (thredup) 1.57
merona navy sweatshirt (thredup) 1.57
merona doubleweave skirt - gray (thredup) 1.57
j crew floral skirt (thredup) 1.57
axcess taupe blazer (thredup) 1.57
banana republic factory white ruffle blouse  (thredup) 1.57

the purchases i think will be the most versatile in my closet will be the short sleeved blouses from target. i have been eying these for a while, so when they finally went on clearance online with an additional 10% off, plus another 5% savings with my target red card i grabbed two. i also really like the two skirts i found on thredup this month and the jewelry from payless.

i still tend to shop halfway with my needs in mind (short sleeve blouses, pants) and halfway with a "this is going to be a really good deal" mentality. i'm not sure if the latter is always the best way to shop, but i do gain a lot of satisfaction by making sure i am getting the absolute best deal i can for something otherwise i leave in on the shelf or in my virtual shopping bag. i think i accomplished that this month evidenced by the extra promotion codes i used at payless, the supercash i used at old navy, and the credit i used at thredup (thanks to anyone who has signed up and purchased through my referral link!).

linking up with fran.

30 June 2014

the accessories dresser.

banana republic factory blouse {via thredup*}
mossimo slacks {thrifted}   ·   dexter kylie wedges

like everyone, i am especially excited about this short work-week so i can have more time to organize and get my new place in order over the upcoming long weekend!  my bedroom is coming along thanks to a trip to ikea over the weekend that resulted in a new dresser that has somehow been filled with pretty much nothing but accessories.  that's okay by me though, and i am enjoying this little nook so much that i thought i would share a peak:

 the mirror opens up to hold necklaces.  i still need to hang the shadow box of earrings on that wall.

i love storing jewelry in small dishes.  the ceramic egg crate from world market is my 
favorite way to store earrings.  i don't own many bracelets anymore, but the ones i've 
hung onto fit perfectly in these ceramic green strawberry cartons from michaels.

a drawer full of necklaces stored in long trays, including utensil trays from a thrift store

 a drawer full of scarves!  this makes me so happy!
another fun little dish (from target) to store the watch & a bracelet i wear daily

isn't it fun to create little space like this in your home?  i needed a place to do my hair in the morning and a place to store all of my jewelry, and i think this will work out really well for me!

*join thredup through my referral link and immediately get $15 to spend {through july 6th}, and i'll get $15 too when you make a purchase.