Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The uncraftiest craft project ever!

I am not a crafty gal. I love looking at what other people craft on Pinterest, but I know I don't have the aptitude. However, I'm here to share with you the "Uncraftiest craft project ever!"

A few years ago, I bought a large vintage-style map of Chicago. It measured around 16" by 19". Framing would be a challenge and I'm 99% sure it would have been a custom job. However, custom framing is not in the 2013 budget. What I did have was 2 - 8" by 10" frames. 


I decided to focus on two parts of the map and frame those instead. One map focused on the Loop. The other focused on the Gold Coast leading into Old Town. 


I really like how they turned out. These are now on display in my office!

Monday, January 28, 2013

A few OOTDs from week 3

As you can see, I'm failing a bit on the OOTD front. I used to set up a tripod and take a pic each morning. Now I'm running out the door, blowing kisses to all my boys (J, Jack and Truffle) and praying I get a decent parking spot. However, I really don't care for these bathroom picture photo sessions. I'll have to find a way to improve!

I do still need to take these pics, if only to prevent myself from repeating too much!

Dress/Blazer: Marshall's
Shoes: Mia, 6pm.com

Yeah, I'd wear this outfit every day if I could!

Jacket/Sweater - Target
Pants - Ann Taylor, consigned
Shoes: TB

I need to post a close up of the fabric on the pants. It is a really pretty brown and black plaid.

Suit: NY & Co
Shirt: TJ Maxx
Shoes: TB

Saturday, January 26, 2013

January 2013 Budget

January was a "spendy" month. However, in my defense, a lot was purchased with Christmas gift cards! I pinky swear.

1. Lace top - Willi Smith, TJ Maxx - Clearance price $8.00 (Gift Card)
2. Black jersey dress with 3/4 length sleeves - ABS, Marshalls - Clearance price $14.99 (Gift Card)
3. Red drapey top - Willi Smith, TJ Maxx - $14.99 (Gift Card)
4. Tan pointed toe flats - Mia, 6pm.com - $69.99
5. Blue ponte knot blazer - TJ Maxx - $24.99 (Gift Card)

Not pictured is the new pair of Stephen Bonanno Sandals, purchased during 50% anniversary sale. I ordered a Navy pair of monogrammed Emmas with white whipstitch. Cost w/shipping $97.00.

Total (including gift cards) - $229.96
Total (of just my own money) - $166.69

Y'all. I want to shop so bad. Especially since I'm back in an office environment. However, I'm continuing to challenge myself to remix what I already have. It is not like I don't have new stuff (see above!). I plan to be more behaved in February!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ode to blogs of past

I use Google Reader for the majority of my blog reading. I tend not to unsubscribe to blogs, even when they go inactive. I figure the person may start writing again one day! I'd hate to miss it. What's great about my Reader is that inactive blogs can still be read. Here are some of my now defunct favorites.

Charming but Single - Charming was an anon blogger from Atlanta who shared her witty insights into her dating lifestyle. She was incredibly engaging and honest about her quest for love. She went dark in December 2008. Her site is still active, so if you had not heard of her, you can still catch up on her posts. I wonder if she is still blogging, perhaps under a different name?

Hope and the Dress Code - Hope was/is a teacher with a darling sense of style. It was attainable (i.e. not high end), so I was definitely inspired. She went dark in 2011. Her blog is currently set to private. I don't know if she has resumed posting. If you know her and can tell me, I would appreciate it!

EuroChic - EuroChic was an anon blogger who embraced the simple European lifestyle. She was always very purposeful in her wardrobe choices, investing in classics rather than trends. I assure you she didn't own a bubble necklace ;) Her food choices also reflected her lifestyle. She moved to Boston from Atlanta. Unfortunately her blog is also private, so there is no way to know if she is still blogging. Her last public post was in January 2011.

Life of a Valley Girl - Valley Girl was heartbreakingly candid about her dating life. She did not hold back any insecurities at all. Her blog was compelling and a touch racy ;) Her last public post was in 2009. Currently her blog is set to private, so AGAIN no way to know if she is actively blogging.

I'd love to hear if you read any of these blogs! Also, are there any blogs that you miss?

Monday, January 21, 2013

OOTD's from the 2nd week

When I first started this blog, I wanted to document what I wore so I didn't repeat the same exact outfits each week. It helped challenge me to mix it up a little. Here are my looks from Tuesday through Friday. I forgot Monday-- oops!

Monday - No pic. Suit from NY& Co. Sofft shoes 

Tuesday - dress: Dillard's Clearance; blazer: Talbots, consigned; shoes: Jessica Simpson, TJ Maxx 

Wednesday - Dress: Marshalls; Cardigan: Talbot's,  consigned; Shoes: TB


Thursday - Skirt Antonio Melani, Dillards; Shirt: TJ Maxx; Shoes: Sofft

Friday - Blazer/Scarf: J Crew; Pants: NY & Co; Shoes: Sofft

So, I bought those Sofft shoes via eBay. I totally should have bought a half size up. These shoes are killing me by half way through the day! I have a pair of CK wedges that are  awaiting some heel guards. Then I'll be able to work them into my outfits. Why do shoes have to be so complicated? :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My awesome CVS deal!

Shopping deals at CVS is a hobby. I love their Extra Care bucks program! Here's my latest deal.
I purchased all of this for $25.80! Here are the deals found in the circular.

All detergent: 2 for $8
Aveeno body/facial wash: Buy 1, Get 1 50% off

I always go to the Coupon Red Box (not the official name, but you know what I mean!) to see what coupons are available on my EC Card. I lucked out this time as a $4 off 2 Aveeno products coupon printed out! I also had $4.50 in EC bucks.

I also had the following coupons:

$2 off two All products
$3 off two Aveeno products - I had two of these

Here's my total below. $32.38 in savings. A great savings indeed!

Friday, January 11, 2013

OOTD's from my first work week!

These are so not in the right order, but here are most of my work OOTD's of the week! Sorry for the bathroom pics. Yet another reason I won't be a fashion blogger! No time to frolick in the fields!

Blazer and Dress: Marshalls
Shoes: Jessica Simpson, TJ Maxx

Blazer/Shirt: TJ Maxx
Skirt: Target, via eBay
Shoes: TB

Blazer: TJ Maxx
Dress: Marshalls
Shoes: Sofft, via eBay
Scarf: J Crew

Cardigan: Target
Top: TJ Maxx
Pants: NY&Co
Shoes: TB
Necklace: Thrifted
Earrings: Anthropologie

In all the pics, I'm wearing this watch, which was a Christmas gift from J!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Capturing life moments

I love photography. Personally, I take very average to below average pictures. What I love is looking at professional photographers websites. Even though J and I were married almost 5 years ago, I still look at wedding photographer sites.

Since Jack has come along, I also love looking at family pictures. You know. The ones where everyone coordinates their outfits. The pictures are shot in parks, fields, beaches etc. They are simply beautiful!

Lately, I've been working on a gallery wall. I wanted to incorporate pictures from our childhoods. One thing I notice is the location of the pictures. They were taken in grandparents kitchens; in the living room of the house J or I grew up in; backyards of friends. The list goes on.

The pictures bring back memories. They served as a springboard for family stories. Maybe they even made someone tear up. That's one thing these beautiful yet art directed photos are missing. Of course, the people in the pictures are still the most important. But the places? Most of the time, they were picked for beauty not sentiment.

Anyways, does this mean were never going to take professional pictures on the beach or in our favorite hipster neighborhood? Certainly not. But I have a feeling the pictures taken in our truly special places are the ones that will mean the most.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year - 2013 goals

I had been tweeting about New Year's goal setting over the past few weeks. I have three, one of which is a continuation of the previous year.

1) Obtain my PHR certification (Professional in Human Resources) - I have checked and the next time I can take the test is in May! Once I get my first new paycheck ( yes, starting a new job!), I plan to register and also purchase study materials.

2) Have one of our date nights take place at a charitable event- We will complete this in March! We are attending a benefit for a local food bank.

3) Continue words of encouragement and acts of kindness - Last year, I looked for opportunities to encourage or help. Whether it was by way of an encouragement card, baking for friends and family, helping friends with career issues, or giving an unexpected present, I tried to do out often and cheerfully. It was easier than I thought. Some of the gestures, I just felt called to do it and I got to see the results!

I hope y'all have a wonderful 2013!