Winter Bites

So, it's March and there's snow everywhere.  Not.Cool.At.All. 
Dress:  Eva Mendes for New York & Company
But what are you going to do?  

I decided to make the most of it and have a little fun with a few blog photos.

For today's look, I'm taking the bite out of winter with my fang clutch from Halloween.

Clutch:  ASOS
Boots:  Target
Tights:  The Limited
I'm looking forward to wearing this dress with heels or sandals for a breezy springtime look, but for now, I've paired it with printed tights and booties to stave off the chill.
Necklace:  The Limited
The web design on the necklace complements the tights, and I kept my hair easy with a low pony.
Earrings:  New York & Company
What's the weather like in your parts?  For those of you feeling the brunt of winter, how are you staying fashionable in the cold?

For this dress in another look, see
For the clutch in another look, see


January & February Budget Round-Up and March Wish List

So last month, I totally slacked in doing a budget round up...probably because I was too busy shopping.  The last two months have been very shopping heavy.  I haven't been doing well with sticking to my budget.  I'm giving myself a little slack as I've been working a ton of overtime, selling old clothes on eBay, and I usually treat myself to a little extra with my tax refund.  That said, it's time to get very serious about my budgeting, and I am going to work on making March a much more fiscally responsible month!

I thought about forcing myself into a shopping hiatus for March, but I know myself well enough to know that trying to cut myself off completely is only a recipe for failure.  So, I've decided to go back to my budget and do my very best to stay there while I continue to sell unwanted clothes on eBay or at a local resale shop to help make up the difference from January and February.

Here's what's on my radar for March:

I'm really feeling custom pieces lately as they just feel more special and personal.  So this month, I'm thinking a custom clutch and jewelry from Smart Glamour.

Smart Glamour "The Amelia" Clutch
Smart Glamour "Audrey" Hand Chain
I'm also looking for a few spring pieces, including a piece in a pretty coral and something in a fun print!
Torrid Long Jacquard Coat
Torrid Eyeglass Whimsical Print Top
Now that I've told you what I'm planning for March, it's time to talk about what I got in January and February!

Like I said, the last few months have been shopping heavy.  My combined budget for January and February was $350 plus a $65 rewards card from Lucky Magazine for a total of $415 (learn more about earning shopping rewards here). 

I spent a whopping $725, and even after accounting for my eBay sales and extra allowance from my tax return, this was still quite a lot.  I also had some gift cards and store rewards, which allowed me to get even more with my budget. 

With such a haul, it's all the more reason that I should be able to show some restraint in March and over the next several months (or so I'm reminding myself).

The man and I are planning to fiiiinnnnnally get married this year, and even though we plan to keep the wedding very simple, we'd also like to take a honeymoon.  When you have five kids, these things have to be seriously budgeted!  Clothes are fun, but when they start to get in the way of more important life goals and plans, it's time to re-assess priorities and to learn to be more thoughtful about purchases.

So with that said, here's my loot.  The prices reflect what I paid after sales, discounts, store rewards, gift cards, etc.
Asos Swing Dress $26
ASOS Curve Sweetheart Crop Top $23
After my first order with ASOS turned into quite the ordeal, I was a little nervous about ordering from them again.  I'm expecting the above pieces within the week, so fingers crossed no problems.  Time will tell whether the pieces fit and whether they will be kept, but for now, I'm including them as part of my expenditures.

Now for the rest which you've seen on the blog or will definitely see soon!

I've been loving eloquii since it's re-launch, but I hadn't bought much from there.  I changed that in January & February with several orders.

Eloquii Printed Criss Cross Flare Dress $50
Eloquii Pleated Midi Skirt $54
Eloquii Diamond Mesh Crop Top $35
As Seen Here
Eloquii Studio Drama Peplum Jacket $71
As Seen Here

Eloquii Side Split Sweater $12
As Seen Here

Eloquii Red Tassel Necklace $29
Eloquii Black Blazer
As seen here
I also got a couple of other tops from Eloquii that I plan on exchanging.  These cost about $40, and since I plan on exchanging, I'm including them in my totals for Jan/Feb.
The Limited Moto Jacket $65
As seen here
The Limited Silky Lace Cami $0 (Rewards)
The Limited Preppy V-Neck Sweater $35
As Seen Here
The Limited Clutch $0 (Gift Card)
As Seen Here
The Limited Printed Bow Blouse $30
As Seen Here
The Limited Suede & Faux Leather Clutch $18
Asos Dress $32
Torrid Wristlet $9
As seen here
Torrid Wristlet $9
As Seen Here
H&M Tunic with Printed Design $35
As Seen Here
Zazzle T-shirt $20
As Seen Here
Anne Michelle Giovanni Heels - eBay $13
As seen here
New York & Company Gold Pleated Skirt $20
As Seen Here
New York & Company Cardigan (in navy & grey) $50
As Seen Here
New York & Company Braided Flare Jeans $32
New York & Company Print Skirt Short $26
New York & Company Sailor Pants $0 (Rewards)
As Seen Here

Lastly, I got a white clutch (not shown) for $4 from New York & Company using rewards.

So, as you can see, I've bought quite a lot over the last two months.  While I'm doing great with sticking to some of my other style resolutions - having more fun with fashion, wearing more color, and even showing more leg - I'm not doing as well with sticking to my budget.

I REALLY plan on correcting this though through the sale of some more of my old clothes and more importantly, through more thoughtful spending.

Do you struggle with a budget?  Any tips for sticking with it?  What's on your radar for spring?


Maximizing on Winter

During certain phases in college, I practically lived in maxi skirts.  I went to school during a few extremely brutal winters, but I still wore these skirts.  At the time, I would layer my skirts over tights and even knee socks and/or knee boots. 
Skirt:  Eloquii (Available here)
I had forgotten about these style hacks.  I've been wanting to wear some of my maxi skirts, but it has seemed too cold for such a breezy option. 

Remembering my styling tricks from college, I threw on some tights and knee high boots with my newest maxi skirt and stayed nice and toasty!

Top:  Eloquii (Available here)
Blazer:  The Limited (Similar here)
This cobalt blue color is one of my absolute favorite colors, and I love the waistband and pleating details.  Blue is a huge color trend for spring - in fact, there are four shades on Pantone's spring 2015 color palette!

This is the first bottom I've purchased from Eloquii, and I'm so happy with it.  It's supposed to be a midi skirt, but since I'm petite - instant maxi.  I'm sort of loving the midi skirt trend because if I want a maxi skirt, I can get one right now without having it altered!!

Clutch:  Vintage
Bracelets:  LOFT
I am normally a 12 on bottom, and Eloquii starts at a 14, so the waist is a little big, but that's an easy enough fix if I decide to alter it.  The skirt is unlined and is a tad sheer, so I added a slip which also added a little extra warmth.

I wanted the waistband on the skirt to stand out, so I paired the skirt with an off-white crop top also from Eloquii.  Since I wore this to work for yesterday's casual Friday, I threw on a blazer for a professional edge.
Rings:  Torrid
Mixed metal accessories, including my super cool pendant from Antiquarian Couture, completed the look.
Pendant:  Antiquarian Couture (See more options here)
Earrings:  trendylittlepieces - etsy
If you're in the St. Louis area, you can pick up some of Antiquarian Couture's pieces at Cheap Trx or Rabbits and Rags, or contact the designer directly here.  Check out the lovely Jill of Stilettos on Sunday Morning to see another piece styled from Antiquarian Couture.

For the blazer in other looks, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

For the necklace in another look, see here.


Working It Like A Boss

Happy Friday, everyone!!

I'm wrapping up the week with a new work wear post.  Work clothes can become exceptionally boring, but since our image matters in the workplace, it is important to toe the professional line.
Blouse:  The Limited (Available here)
If you're lucky enough to work at a more creative company or one with a casual/relaxed dress code, your options become more plentiful.  Since I work in a business casual environment of a conservative industry, I generally try to stick to pieces that have polish and that aren't too loud.

That said, I don't think there's anything wrong with being a little dramatic at times, and that's the vibe I was feeling with today's look.

Cape:  Boohoo (No longer available)
I did a twist on the classic black pantsuit by pairing black skinnies with my black capelet jacket from boohoo. 

The minty aqua bow blouse added a fun pop of print and color while being a very classic work style.

This aqua color mixed with red is one of my very favorite color combinations, so I threw on red peep-toe heels and added a red clutch for a slightly flirty mix.
Pants:  The Limited (Available here)
Clutch:  Vintage
Cuff:  The Limited
Heels: Target
The bright colors, leopard print blouse and cape made me feel bold and in control.
It's nice to feel like a boss...even if, like me, you're NOT the boss!  :-)

For the capelet in other looks, see here and here.
For the pants in other looks, see here, here, here, here, and here.