30 January 2015

one in, one out: january 2015

last year i embarked on a "one in, one out" philosophy to manage my clothing, shoe, and accessory purchases.  i felt so good about how it worked last year that i am continuing that effort through 2015.  for each item i buy, i will continue to eliminate a comparable item from my closet.  however, i am making a couple changes this year:  

first, i am not going to stockpile all of the items i am planning to get rid of at the end of the month just to photograph for the blog as i had been doing.  having multiple "to trash" or "to donate" piles in corners of my room is just as overwhelming as having an overflowing closet... so i am going to select items to get rid of immediately and make a trip to the goodwill whenever i am ready instead of waiting to the end of the month.  since this effort is really for me and i have no reason to "cheat."  i'm sure you guys won't be heartbroken about not seeing a picture of the worn pile of clothes i am getting rid of each month!

secondly, i went the entire year of 2014 without maintaining a monthly clothing budget, so i am instituting that in 2015.  no more crazy shopping sprees!  unfortunately, i didn't set a number for myself before the year started and i can't undo the spending i already made this month, so i'll figure out an arbitrary number (setting a monthly budget really has always felt arbitrary, but if anyone has suggestions of how to determine an appropriate monthly budget, let me know) for myself next month and go from there... since i spent less than $100 this month, that may definitely end up being my goal each month.

{what came in}

item bought price original $
world market "woodland" blue paisley scarf 7.99 17.99
charming charlie blossom bib necklace set gc 13
charming charlie five times fabulous necklace gc 15
charming charlie bull's-eye beauty bracelet gc 10
charming charlie birdy marquise necklace set - red gc 13
j crew factory slim stretch wool pant - camel 26.39 89.50
j crew factory slim stretch wool pant - gray  25.79 89.50
merona satchel - blue 21.83 39.99
merona 3/4 boatneck tee - green 4.56 12.00
merona 3/4 boatneck tee - berry purple 4.56 12.00
merona embellished color block sweater 6.37 27.99
mossimo ona flats - leopard 0.08 16.99


my "whomp-whomp" purchases were the two pairs of j crew pants that are sadly final sale and non-returnable.  i haven't bought j crew pants in many, many years so i guessed the higher range of the sizes i fall between but they are so tight and unforgiving.  ugggghhhhhhhh!  i guess i'll be listing them on ebay!

{what went out}

i purchased 12 items this month and i got rid of 14 items (3 necklaces, 2 pairs of earrings, 1 bracelet, 3 pairs of shoes, 2 purses, 2 sweaters, and 1 tee).

thanks for visiting!  linking up with fran.

27 January 2015

peter pan & mirrored prints.

j crew factory peter pan tee
merona doubleweave skirt
crown vintage tisha heels

you guys, last week was one of the most stressful of my worklife.  i'm thankful for the weekend reprieve that helped to dull some of those emotions, but there was just so much to deal with that i could do little else when i got home late each evening other than collapse.  this is an outfit i wore last week that required zero thought because hey, i really had none to offer up to my wardrobe choice that day.  i took a cue from this look that i wore about a year ago that i absolutely loved and just substituted in a different gray shirt.  it's not the most exciting look, but at least i looked halfway competent even if i didn't feel it!

get the look:  similar top / similar skirt / similar heels

26 January 2015

winter florals.

talbots ruffle blouse {thrifted}
j crew skirt & cardigan {thrifted}
toms desert wedges

i wore this outfit recently to a continuing education presentations on ethics, self-determination, and risk.  these are my favorite types of presentations to go to because they always prompt my thinking in a different way about the rights older adults have, even if they live in a nursing home.  

i also love that i am still wearing these toms desert wedges quite often - they really are the perfect winter shoe in my opinion!  but i am actually hardcore searching for some proper winter boots.  it is kind of sad that i have lived in minnesota for about seven years and i don't own proper winter boots or any winter sports equipment.  there's a small pond in my neighborhood that is faithfully plowed out to create an ice skating rink after each time it snows, and i couldn't even join my friends ice skating last weekend!  not that i would have known how to ice skate (and someone needed to be the photographer), but i'm realizing more and more how much i want to take advantage of outdoor winter activities.  what winter activities are you into?

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

19 January 2015

unexpected outcome.

j crew factory ruffle collar top
merona skirt, flats, and cardigan
was initially going to wear this outfit without the cardigan but it was negative nothing degrees out this am (the temp gauge in my car read -16) so i figured i should add another layer on my arms underneath my jacket for the commute into work.  i just grabbed any cardigan, but then i realized i quite liked the look of the purple shade with the hunter green skirt and the patterned blouse so i kept it on all day.  i used to wear cardigans all. the. time. and don't wear them too often anymore so i was glad how this outfit unexpectedly came together!

other surprisingly good things about today:
- finding a new radio station that played some great jams on my way to work including "shut up dance dance with me," of monsters and men (i used to listen to this album on repeat a few years ago at work - such great background music), and the killers "i've got soul" (another nostalgic song that reminds me of being deployed to florida with the red cross in 2006 to help tornado victims, it's all i listened to in my hotel room).

the best song the radio station played, however, was "budapest" by george ezra on my way home from work - i am such a fan of this guy and urge you all to check him out!  i seriously want everyone to love this guy as much as i do, check out his video:

have a great week!

get the look:  similar cardigan / exact blouse / similar skirt / similar flats / similar necklace

14 January 2015

gray & olive.

j crew factory blouse
merona skirt (via eBay)
dexter hensley wedges

happy tuesday everyone!  this is a skirt i haven't worn in some time but admired for so long on whitney (missyourblogpleasebringitback). even though i eventually found my own on eBay, i haven't worn it that much... which is surprising because the chameleon olive/brown color seems to go with everything!  today i paired it with light and dark gray but i'd really like to wear it with my heathered purple or mauve sweater next.  are there items you pine after but then don't end up wearing much once you obtain them?

13 January 2015

matchy. matchy.


merona sweater {thrifted target stock}
calvin klein skirt {thrifted}
world market scarf
c label sherry flats

do you ever worry about being too matchy matchy?  i definitely gravitate toward matching and being coordinated, but maybe i interpreted my color coordination a little too strictly with this outfit.  the brighter green sweater was chosen to match the similar hue in the scarf, as were the heathered brown tights.  there's navy in the scarf that matches my skirt & flats and go with the color theme of the scarf.  i guess i just can't help myself when beautiful scarves like this provide such an easy starting point for an outfit.  plus, it felt pretty good when my supervisor mentioned that she liked how my entire outfit matched and always looks forward to seeing what i wear each day.  that is one of the best compliments i've received in a long time!

get the look:  similar sweater / similar skirt / similar scarf / exact flats / exact tights

12 January 2015

book review: the goldfinch

the goldfinch by donna tartt

so, the goldfinch is perhaps one of the most lofty books i have ever read.  it clocked in at a whopping 718 pages on my ipad.  i'm glad i had about four uninterrupted days over the christmas holidays to make a  dent in the book and was able to finish it before it was due.  since then, it's remained consistently on my mind but i haven't been able to string together a few paragraphs about why it impacted me so much.  maybe that is the mark of an amazingly gifted author or a truly marvelous book - it leaves you with a feeling you didn't even know you needed to experience?  

theo is barely a teenager, in trouble at school and on his way there with his mom to be served his punishment.  they are early, so they pop in a local museum in new york city to poke around.  a typical teen, theo can only think about his stomach and how hungry is, but he dutifully follows his mom around the art exhibits.  and then the unthinkable happens - a bomb rips through the museum.  theo and his mom are separated, but in a delirious state he runs into another guest, an older man - barely conscious - who prompts him to steal a piece of art ("the goldfinch") laying amongst the rubble, offers him up his ring, and tells him to go to an obscure address to find someone who will know what to do.

theo is estranged from his dad, has no family, and is taken in by social services when his mom never shows up at their apartment after the accident.  he is taken in by a classmate's family who live in a more affluent part of the city where he struggles to fit in and continue on with his life without his mom.  the book follows theo as he jumps from location to location, detailing the events that make up his days as a teenager to a young adult, the trouble he gets in, the struggles he endures, the friends he makes and loses, with the only constant denominator in his life being the small piece of artwork he took from the crumbling museum on that fateful day that is like a weighted anchor he drags around with him, reminding him of that terrible day and keeping him on alert for the day that it, too, will be taken from him.

so much happened in this book that it's so difficult to give a summary of the plot without giving too much away, but if you like triumphant (but slightly screwed up) characters, if you like intense and shifting plot-lines, if you're at all interested in the world of art and antiques, i'd so recommend this book.  i imagine it being one that i go back to every year or so to reread, as i imagine reading it a second time around will reveal intricacies to the plot and characters that i missed the first time around.

08 January 2015

fleece dress.

old navy sleeveless fleece dress
gap button down
our world boutique necklace
merona madeline flats

it is rare that i buy dresses from old navy anymore because they always end up being too short on me, but something about this dress stood out to me so i figured i'd give the tall size a try... and i love it!  the fabric is so soft and forgiving and it ended up being the perfect length.  i'm glad to have a nice fitting dress like this in my closet that is bound to prove its versatility.  i kept it pretty standard today with the black button down underneath but i liked the magenta stones in the necklace that match the belt and the gold accents on my shoes, necklace, and belt hardware.  if you are at all interested in this dress (link below), it's currently on clearance for $14.97 and you can use the code "treat" for an extra 15% off, lucky gals!

get the look:  exact dress / similar button down / similar flats / similar necklace / similar belt

07 January 2015

windchill wardrobes.

j crew factory eyelet front top
loft floral skirt {thrifted}
crown vintage tisha pumps

thanks to everyone who responded to my post last week about my blogging slump and uncertainty about lit & sty's blogging future.  what stood out to me is that i'm not alone in these feelings and it's something everyone experiences.  that was reassuring, as were so many people's comments that they want me to keep blogging.  really?!  i promise that i won't up and leave the blog and i have no plans to stop any time soon.

it was a whopping -10 this morning when i left for work but oddly enough i feel warmer in tights than pants when it's cold out.  maybe because the fabric of the tights is right against my legs compared to pants that are loose and allow wind to breeze through more easily.  does that make sense?  i thrifted this identical loft skirt a few months back that i knew would be too small, but it was still disappointing when i tried to try it on and promptly had to sell it on eBay.  needless to say, i was pretty excited to see another one show up at the goodwill in my size for just a few dollars.  the fabric is pretty stretchy and has an elastic waistband along with a zipper, which i think is pretty darn ingenious!  you get the look and feel of a straight pencil skirt but a nice elastic waistband!  it's one of the best fitting skirts i have right now, which sure is confidence boosting!

have a great week!

get the look: similar blouse / similar skirt / similar heels / similar necklace