Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February 2013 Fashion Budget

Feb 2013 Purchases

Feb 2013 Purchases by natylite78 featuring colorful jeans

As you can see, February was about adding to my professional work wardrobe. Now our official dress code is business casual (i.e. suits not required daily), however my department highly encourages jackets worn when attending meeting outside the department. So I've been scouring eBay for jackets and suits (because a suit does make it easier to get dressed in the morning!).

Side note: I find is so hard to find suits that are age appropriate. I am turning 35 next month. Most suits are skewed towards the over 50 group (in my opinion). The suits that are age appropriate are so expensive! I've had luck with Talbots, whose done a good job of appealing to the 30's demographic in recent years.

So here is how I did!

Purchased and Wearing!
1. Old Navy Pop Color Jeans - Obviously NOT for work! - $19
2. Black Ponte Knit Ruched Blazer - This is not the exact one I purchased. I purchased mine from  Ross Dress for Less - $19.

Purchased and Returned

I wanted these dresses to work out so badly! But the fit was just wrong all the way around. Waist too low, chest too big. My body was not meant for them!

Purchased on eBay, not yet received
5. Talbots Khaki Blazer - $0.99 (add $7.50 for shipping)
6. Le Suit Grey Suit - $42.99

My original grand total was $142.46. After I returned the dresses, the total was $89.48.

I would like to add another shirt that will work under suits. I'd also like to add a cardigan or blazer in a spring appropriate color. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Twitter Retrospective

I started tweeting in April 2008, the same month I got married! You are now able to download your Twitter archive. It was quite a hoot to read through old tweets. I picked out a handful for commentary. My comments are italicized.

9-10-2008 Is it bad that couples who dress alike bother me? 

Yes, this still bothers me.

9-20-2009 i heart Nathan Fillion. 

Oh, yes. I still feel this way!

12-30-2009 I'm more Converse Chuck Taylors than Tory Burch Revas. And I'm good with that :) 

An example where I'm a complete hypocrite, as I wear Revas now. 

2-13-2010 why spend so much time trying to be friends with someone who clearly doesn't want to be friends with you? 

Ah yes, I liked to vague tweet even back in 2010. I'm pretty sure I was side-eyeing activity in my timeline where people would tweet others on the regular, begging for attention, with nary a reply to occur.  Come to think of it. I STILL see this!

5-23-2010 I still think Diane Keaton picked wrong in "Somethings Gotta Give". Keanu FTW! 

I still believe this too.

Have you downloaded your Twitter archive? Let me know!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dark Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips - Hey, that's pintastic!

Today, I'm admitting one of my secret shames. I'm painfully weak to Subway's double chocolate cookies. I'm not a huge Subway fan, mostly because I smell like the bread whenever I leave. However, I will "u-turn, be late returning from lunch, wait in line" LOVE these cookies.

But remember when I used to bake?? I haven ot made the time since returning to the outside work world in January. However, we needed to clean out the pantry. What better way than to bake up a batch of my secret shame cookies! A quick search on Pinterest yielded this recipe for Dark Chocolate Cookies with White Chips.

                                                               Source: via natylite78 on Pinterest

I made some adjustments in the directions. I omitted the salt because I used salted butter. I included what brands I used for some of the items as I think it makes a difference!

Dark Chocolate Cookies with White Chips 
Adapted from

1 3/4 cup AP flour (King Arthur's Unbleached AP)1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP cocoa powder (Hershey's Unsweetened)1/2 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp salt1 cup packed brown sugar1/2 cup granulated sugar12 TBSP butter (melted and cooled) (Kerry Gold SALTED)1 egg1 egg yolk1 tsp vanilla extract1-2 cups white chocolate chips (Nestle, but Ghiradelli would be great too)
1.  In a medium bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients.  Set aside.  2.  In a large bowl Using a stand mixer, cream together your melted and cooled butter with your brown sugar and granulated sugar for 2-3 minutes (longer if creaming by hand).  Add in your egg and yolk, cream until fully incorporated into batter.  Stir in your vanilla extract.  3.  Add your dry ingredients and mix together until combined.  Stir in your white chocolate chips to taste, adding more if you prefer your cookies with extra chocolate.  4.  Scoop out batter using a 1/4 measuring cup  cookie scoop.  Divide dough into two smaller balls and place on a Place greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes, then bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 14 minutes.  Allow to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack  

Verdict: Delicious! Dare I say a little better than the Subway ones (J believes it is the Kerry Gold's doing!)

I'm linking up with AP at I Love You More Than Carrots for Hey, that's Pintastic!

i love you more than carrots

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." - Oscar Wilde

This is one of my favorite quotes. I've been tickled by the increase use of it in advertising, blogs, Pinterest and the like. I've been reflecting on this quote and one particular (former) friend that comes to mind.

**Disclaimer: This is a real life former friend. This isn't a vague jab at a Tweep or Blogger. I promise!**

I once had a friend who did not have an ideal childhood. She was estranged from her father. She grew up in a working class town. She was smart and went to college. She got into some financial problems in her 20's and filed for bankruptcy. Post college, she settled in the tony area of Rittenhouse Square and began constructing her new life.

She was obsessed with "How to" guides. I once perused her bookshelf and saw titles such as "How to be like (fill in iconic preppy society name here). Stacks of "Town and Country" filled her apartment, where I know she'd pour over the society pages, copiously making mental notes on names, places, clothes. She joined charity committees. As I write this, I realize that she was probably a social climber?

Anyways, I definitely support people trying to better themselves through education etc. But I always felt like she was just trying to be someone else. Strip away all of the "Town and Country"-ness and she was a different but fun person (aside from the time she cursed me out in public and called another friend the C word, but I digress).

We aren't friends anymore. See the last sentence of the preceding paragraph as to why. But I heard she's happily married and just had twins. She's given up the booze and social climbing. Too bad I never knew that version of her.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chatting up "Jason Street"

Yes. You read that correctly! I got to video chat with Scott Porter (aka Jason Street from "Friday Night Lights" and George Tucker from "Hart of Dixie"). Scott was participating in a 24 hour video game-a-thon. Oh didn't you know? He LOVES video games! Anywho, he was on video chat and you could either join in via video or chat. There was no way in H-E-L-L that I was going on video at 8am on a Sunday morning, so chat it was.

While he was playing video games, he would respond to questions or comments that fans were posting in chat. Being that it was early Sunday morning, I didn't have a lot of competition. I mentioned that I too lived in Winter Park, FL for a time. We chatted back and forth about that. He said that I lived in the rich part and he lived in the poor part LOL. I also stated that I'd only ever watch him or my husband play video games. That got a chuckle out of him.

I was a serious fan girl for the 15 minutes I was on there. Alas, mom duty called and I had to log off. However, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't giddy the rest of the morning.

And yes. He still looks cute after gaming all through the night!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Going to the other side...

Last consignment season, I went nuts. I went to almost every sale in Jacksonville. And you know what? Jack didn't even wear half of the clothes! So lesson learned--restraint needs to be practiced. This season, I decided to "go to the other side" and consign some of his items. I had bought several jon-jons via Smocking Hot Mamas and Southern Tots on Facebook. He also had some items with tags still on them! I consigned 14 items in all, including our Snap and Go stroller.

After identifying my items, I registered with WeeTrade to sell. I did not know the first thing about pricing items though! After a little googling research, I used the pricing guide on Consignment Mommies. WeeTrade (like most other consignment sales) had a user friendly website where we could enter our items, print out our tags, sign up for a drop off appointment, and (most importantly) see what was sold!

Side note: I had a heck of a time finding card stock to use for my tags! I ended up buying a multicolor pack from Staples. I could only use white, so I guess I'll have to think of something crafty (ha, who am I kidding?) to do with it.

Anyways, I was nervous on the drop off day! I wondered if my items would "pass muster". Luckily, they did. I was amazed at what other people were dropping off. I had very little. I saw moms with over 100 items to sell! Amazing!

Since we are moving soon (more on that in another post), I decided to skip the shopping and only consign this time around. I just got my check and boy was I pleasantly surprised...


Good thing as we need to put that towards new car seats soon. :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

"If it isn't moving, monogram it!"

I love my monogram. Scratch that. I love my married monogram. Thus I became obsessed with monogramming (where appropriate - i.e. Not my car) once I said "I do!". However, my interest in monogramming clashes with my interest in being fiscally responsible. Monogramming isn't cheap!

When I started my new job (love it, by the way!), I wanted to personalize my space. That included incorperating a small monogrammed "something". I don't think a large wooden monogram would work in a professional setting! After perusing Pinterest, I decided I wanted an acrylic monogrammed pencil cup like the one below:

                                                                     Source: via Savannah on Pinterest

This pencil cup costs $11.99 plus shipping, totaling $20. I figured I could make this for less!

Now I use the word "make" very loosely here. Here's what I did.

I found this acrylic pen cup on Amazon for $8.94 plus tax and free shipping, thanks to Amazon Prime.

I decided I wanted a scrolling and interlocking monogram. I found this one on etsy for $2.95 + $1.10 for shipping.

My grand total was $12.99 total including shipping. Even figuring $1 for tax, it was still cheaper. Plus I got the style and color monogram that I wanted!

Here's the end result!

                                                                          Source: Uploaded by user via natylite78 on Pinterest