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30x30 Items!

The 30x30 begins tomorrow!  I am so excited to get started.  I've spent a lot of time selecting my 30 items and brainstorming outfits with them all.  It should be a fun month!

Without further ado, here are my 30 items:

 Ankle booties: Payless Black boots: Target Brown boots: Guess
Silver/black flats: Kohls Cognac flats: Old Navy

Purple button up: Old Navy White button up:  Old Navy Magenta popover: Old Navy
Gray/white striped shirt: Old Navy Camel/white striped shirt: Old Navy
Cream tank: The Limited via Goodwill Black studded tank: Gap, hand-me-down from my best friend
Camel sweater: Old Navy Purple sweater: Target via Goodwill 

 Green jacket: JCPenney Navy blazer: Gap Purple vest: Christopher & Banks via Goodwill
Mustard cardigan: Kohls Cream cardigan: Target
Tan cardigan: Old Navy Gray cardigan: Old Navy

 Navy dress: Old Navy Black dress: Target Polka dot dress: Old Navy
Navy/white striped skirt: Target Gray skirt: Bettie Page
Diva skinny jeans: Old Navy Rockstar skinny jeans: Old Navy
Black skinny jeans: Old Navy Gray ponte pants: Kohls

There they are, the 30 items I'll be wearing for the month of January!  Make sure to follow along with AJ as well, since she'll be doing the 30x30 during January as well.

Have a safe New Year's Eve, and I'll be back tomorrow with my first outfit!


Budgeting Bloggers - December

December has always been a heavier spending month for me.  Not only does it bring Christmas, but it also is my birthday month.  I originally was not planning to spend much money in December, but after a closet clean out and receiving birthday money, I decided to take advantage of some of the fantastic store deals.  I did wind up spending more than usual (again), but I honestly feel great about everything that I bought.

  • Black/blue studded sleeveless blouse: $7 - I love sleeveless blouses because they can be worn all year round!  I really like how edgy this one is, and the shade of blue is gorgeous. (not pictured in collage)
  • Cream/pink floral LC blouse: $10 - This top is so me!  It's a button up, a little roomy, is a beautiful floral print, and has a ruffle detail.  I love how it looks on me and the colors are perfect for me. (not pictured in collage)
  • Gray ponte pants: $20 - Ponte pants are one of my favorite things to wear.  I love wearing them to work and internship because they are stretchy and comfortable and hold their shape all day.  These are especially nice because they have actual pockets and a button and zipper, so they look like normal pants instead of leggings.  I also like that they aren't too tight, and yet they're still slim enough that they look nice tucked into boots. (not pictured in collage)
  • Black ponte pants: $20 - Same as above. (not pictured in collage)
  • Brown suede loafers: $5 - I recently got rid of a couple pairs of flats that I had had for a long time and were getting pretty worn out.  I wanted to replace them with a pair of casual brown shoes, and these fit the bill (and the price is right!!). (not pictured in collage)
  • Silver/black metallic flats: $5 - I have a pair of black and bronze metallic flats that I adore, and I have been looking for a similar pair in silver or pewter.  While I was browsing clearance shoes for the above brown loafers, I stumbled upon these.  Again, the price was right, and I love how comfortable they are! (not pictured in collage)
Old Navy:
  • Gray/white striped long-sleeved tee: $5 - I had recently looked through my closet and noticed I didn't have any long-sleeved tees.  Since I have all my new vests, I wanted to have some long-sleeved shirts to wear with them (also, it's probably a good thing to have long-sleeved tees in your closet, right??).  These striped tees were on major sale at Old Navy and are perfect!
  • Camel/white striped long-sleeved tee: $5 - See above.
  • Dog sweater: $4 - The day after Christmas, I went shopping at the Mall of America with my sister-in-law, and she found this sweater for me on the clearance rack.  It's no shame that I love dogs, and the price was fantastic, so I figured it would be a fun and quirky sweater to wear this winter.
  • Gray crew neck sweatshirt: $4 - My old gray sweatshirt shrunk in the wash, and I've been on the hunt for an affordable replacement.  These sweatshirts, which are essentially the same thing as what I had before, were on clearance for $4 on the day after Christmas as well, so I picked this one up as well.
  • Tan boyfriend cardigan: $12 - After seeing Danielle rocking her boyfriend cardigan, I decided to find one myself...and was lucky enough to find one for a great price! 
  • Navy ponte dress: $8 - Okay, so I didn't really need this dress, but it was $8, it looks awesome on me, and it completely fits with the direction I want my closet to take.  It goes with so many of my layering pieces already, and it can be worn all year round!
  • Yellow striped tee: $1 - I have this same tee in black and white and love it.  It has been in my online cart forever.  When I made a recent trip to Old Navy, though, I saw it on the clearance rack, in my size, for $0.99.  I bought it and removed it from my online cart as soon as I got home!
  • Dark denim Rockstar jeans: $19 - So, I've been seeing and hearing people rave about these Rockstar jeans for ages.  I've tried them on in the stores several times, but have found the sizing to be inconsistent across pairs, and they are usually way too short on me.  Since I hate returning items, I've never ordered them in Talls online, so I've just stuck to my Diva fit jeans and called it good.  I decided recently to try them out again, and when I was at the store searching for sizes, I found these dark rinse Rockstar jeans in Talls.  I practically held my breath as I tried them on, and lo and behold, they fit me perfectly.  I've been looking for some skinny jeans that are slim enough to tuck into boots, and have been striking out...until now.  I love these.
  • Black Rockstar jeans: $19 - See above.  I bought a black pair because my other black skinny jeans have faded a ton and gotten really stretched out.
  • Green military jacket: $20 - After having a jacket like this on my closet wish list for close to a year, I was so excited to find this perfect on at JCPenney! (not pictured in collage)
  • Cream scarf: $9 - These pashmina scarves from JCPenney are my absolute favorite.  I already have them in several colors and have been looking for a few more colors to round out my collection.  I was so happy when they were on sale for about half price! (not pictured in collage)
  • Mint scarf: $9 - See above. (not pictured in collage)
  • Pink scarf: $9 - See above. (not pictured in collage)
  • Metallic wrap sweater (New York and Company): $20 - In Fran's November budget, she linked to a gray and white fair isle open front cardigan from Gap.  I saw it and fell in love!  I saw one at Old Navy a while back but didn't want to pay full price.  Unfortunately, they sold out quickly and I missed my chance.  I did, however, find this tan metallic wrap sweater at NY&C on a major sale, and I absolutely love it.  I bought it a size too big so that it would be extra cozy, so you may not see it on the blog, but just know that I've been wearing it the past two days with a tank and leggings while I've been relaxing at home.  LOVE IT.
  • Black fit and flare dress (Target): $7 - Yes, another black dress.  This replaces one that I used to have that shrunk in the wash (I have to get better at paying attention to what I put in the dryer...).
  • Gray elastic waist skirt (Bettie Page): $12 - Another closet wish list item!  I have wanted a dark gray elastic waist skirt for SO long, and I found one at Bettie Page, and adorable retro clothing store in the Mall of America.
  • Brown ankle booties (Payless): $30 - Comfiest. Booties. EVER.
My subtotal for the month, before taking out gift cards was $260, oof.  However, I had $55 in Kohls cash and gift cards, plus $56 that I got from selling clothes to Plato's Closet, which brings my total down to $149.

I kind of am justifying some of these purchases because I received money for my birthday and Christmas and wanted to spend some of it on some new clothes.  Many of the things I bought are replacements for things that I have ruined in the wash, or things that were old and falling apart.  I got some things from my closet wish list that have been on there for a long time (long-sleeved tees, gray skirt, green jacket, scarves), and I finally got some jeans that not only fit me well, but are also exactly what I've been looking for.  I also did a lot of self-editing and monitoring while shopping this month.  I was so thoughtful about what I bought and made sure I only got things that fit with the direction I want my closet to go, things that look amazing on me, and things that I really loved.

In January, I am going to try to keep shopping to a minimum again, although I have two things that I'm allowing myself to use.  I am going to visit one of my dearest friends, Casey, in Charlotte, NC right after the New Year, and I'm going to allow myself to spend a little money while we're together.  Also, I have some rewards and Super Cash for Old Navy that needs to be used by the end of January.  I am only going to buy something if I really love it or need it, and I may wind up just replacing some basics (tanks and cardigans, I'm thinking).

Linking up with Fran and the other budgeting bloggers!

Edit: I forgot to mention that I had sold some items to Plato's Closet, so I adjusted my total above!

Birthday Outfit

Blouse: Kohls Cardigan: Eddie Bauer, thrifted Jeans: Old Navy Boots: Payless

I wore this outfit on my birthday a couple of weeks ago.  I had been shopping at Kohls since I had some Kohls cash to use, and I found this gorgeous Lauren Conrad blouse on clearance.  I was so happy when it fit me!  It's pretty thin, so I decided to add my pink cardigan for another layer.  I also found these ankle booties at Payless while I was out and about as well.  I really like the look of my Target booties, but haven't found them to be as comfortable as I would like.  These, however, are super comfortable.  Despite the little heel, I hardly can tell that they're heeled - perfect for me, since I typically only wear flats!

I'm so excited for my 30x30 to start on Wednesday.  Tomorrow, I will be posting my 30 items - stay tuned!


Dressing Up a Long-Sleeved Tee

Shirt: Kohls Vest: Old Navy Skirt / Tights: Target Boots: Bare Traps

So, I wrote a post a while back about how I keep track of all the things that I wear.  Since I've been trying to revamp my wardrobe, I've also been trying to wear the pieces in my closet that don't get enough love.  This long-sleeved white tee is new (my mom bought me a few long-sleeved tees when I realized most of my long-sleeved tops are cardigans...), and it hadn't been worn yet.  While the shirt itself is pretty casual, I wanted to dress it up just a little bit by pairing it with my navy and white striped skirt.  The shape of this skirt is so perfect for me, and I love how it looks with the casual tee.  For another layer of interest, I added my green vest.  I like how it turned out - again, lots of neutrals, but the outfit isn't boring.


Revamping My Wardrobe

This weekend, AJ from AJ Wears Clothes wrote a fantastic post about coming up with her own uniform.  Her post was inspired by Into Mind's series on revamping your wardrobe, and I immediately went to check out the series to take notes and get inspired myself.

I started blogging nearly a year ago, and I have to say that I have come a long way, stylistically, from where I was last year.  I have discovered some things that work for me and have decided that while I might really like pencil skirts and pretty heels on someone else, they're just not for me.  I also have finally gotten to the point where I'm not feeling compelled to buy everything that other bloggers have simply because they are pretty or cute or fun.

Ways I wear skirts...
I have been quite intrigued with capsule and minimalistic wardrobes for a long time, and am interested in paring down my closet so that it contains only things that I'm in love with.  I want to get to the point where I never have days that I stand in front of my full closet thinking, "I have nothing to wear."  It currently happens more than I would like to admit, and it makes me feel pretty awful.

I love layering!
Both of the above mentioned posts talk about the idea of the uniform, and how important a "signature look" can be to helping you revamping your wardrobe.  To figure out what my uniform is, I went through my entire blog archives and pinned my favorite looks into a secret board on Pinterest (I'm weird and don't want my real life friends and family to know about my blog yet!).

Stripes & floral: patterns I like
At this point, I have noticed some patterns in my favorite outfits.  I am typically drawn to neutrals, but I also like to inject some color from time to time.  When I wear pants, I prefer skinny and slim cuts and pair them with something more flowy or loose on the top.  I like layers such as blouses and button ups with cardigans, sweaters, or blazers.  I prefer A-line or full skirts with elastic waists, as well as fit and flare dresses.  When I wear a fuller skirt, I like to balance it out with a more close-cut top or tee.  As for footwear, I definitely like flats: ballet flats, flat boots, and flat sandals.  I like stripes, leopard print, and floral print to add some interest as well as splashes of color.  I strive to make my outfits comfortable, polished, interesting, simple and balanced at this point.

While I love neutrals, I also like to inject some color in my wardrobe too.
Into Mind suggests creating a capsule wardrobe to help you get inspired and figure out what works and how to pair things together.  I completed a 30x30 challenge this past July with my friend Inge, and have been itching to do another one soon.  AJ is going to take the challenge on again in January, and I am going to join her.  Any of you who are interested in jumping on board are welcome to do so as well!
Some of my favorite outfits with pants
I'm eager to continue exploring my personal style and documenting it on my blog.  I really enjoy sharing this experience with all of you, as well.  I'm always open to comments and suggestions as I grow and develop my style further, so feel free to give me any feedback along the way!



Sweater: Target, thrifted Blouse: Old Navy Pants: JCPenney Boots: Guess Necklace: DIY from my mom

The holidays are always kind of an interesting time for me.  Kevin and I are not religious, but both of our families are.  We like to have the time at Christmas to spend with our families, but it does present some challenges as well.  Between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we have 6 different "events" or celebrations to attend, among other various holiday get togethers in the coming weeks.  Spending time with our families is fun, and yet it can be so stressful to have to drive all around the Twin Cities, arrange for accommodations for our dogs, pack for a few days away, and worry about balancing our time between our sides of the family so that everyone is as happy as possible.  While the holidays are so exciting and fun for so many people, they are often stressful and difficult for us.  I'm eager to have the time away to see our families, but anxious for all of the above reasons.  It makes me feel a little bit like a Scrooge, but this is the reality of our situation right now.  Regardless, I hope you all have a happy holiday season, if you celebrate.

Since we'll be shuffling all around the Minneapolis-St. Paul area for the next couple of days, I'm going to take a little blog break until later this week.  I have a fun challenge coming up that I am excited to share with you all!

Be safe in your travels, if you will be on the road or in the air in the next couple of days!  I'll be back later this week!


Pinned It and Did It: Navy & Red

Dress / Tights: Target Blazer: Calvin Klein, thrifted Boots: Guess

Thank you so much for all the birthday love, y'all!  I had a nice day, and am looking forward to celebrating a little bit more this weekend.  Since I had to head up to the Twin Cities for my doctor appointment and for my internship today, I wasn't able to spend much time with Kevin.  We'll be having a nice date night on Saturday to celebrate instead, and I'm also getting together with some of my girlfriends on Friday.

I'm finally linking up with Pinned It and Did It again!  It's been a few "off" weeks, but I'm happy to be back.  I'm happy to be recreating this pretty outfit, originally worn by Audrey of Putting Me Together.  Like the outfit I posted yesterday, I combined navy and red here like Audrey did back in January.  I love the result!  Again, it's not too patriotic or nautical, but the color combination is quite striking.

Also, I wanted you all to know that I've been keeping up with all your blogs the last couple of weeks but have not had a lot of time to comment.  Little by little, I'm working at commenting on all your posts, so I hope you won't mind all of the notifications you all will be getting in the next couple of days!  I just wanted to let you know that I'm still reading and loving all your stories and outfits! :)



Shirt / Blazer: Gap Jeans: Old Navy Flats: Target Scarf: JCPenney

Today is my 26th birthday!  I'm not doing too much exciting today...just a doctor's appointment, lunch with family, and seeing Catching Fire (again).  It's funny how birthdays are such a huge deal when we're little, but as we grow older, they become less of a fanfare.  I'm completely fine with that :)

I wore this outfit to my work holiday party last week.  I wanted to keep things nice and casual but put together, and this is what I decided on!  I really like the navy/white/red combination, and I got to wear these new flats ($9 on clearance at Target!).  A few weeks ago, Whitney wrote about how her style is getting more masculine as time goes on, and I have to say that mine has been getting more androgynous as well.  I just love how a blazer and a blouse looks with skinny jeans and flats.  There's something so clean about it!


Gray Day

Dress: Old Navy Leggings / Socks / Boots: Target 

Last week, I finished up my semester, and I could not be happier about it.  I turned in all my assignments, gave my final presentation, took my comprehensive exams, and wrapped up my graduate assistantship (which helps me pay for school) for the semester.  I found out last week that I not only passed my comprehensive exams, but I kicked major butt!  What a relief!  I also got my final grades for the semester, and am still rocking a 4.0 in graduate school.  Not too shabby, and not a bad way to go into a month-long break from school!

Because I've had a crazy and stressful couple of weeks, I've been pretty uninspired with my outfits, and have found myself repeating outfits much more often than I normally do.  I wore this outfit a few weeks ago and never took pictures of it, and I loved here it is again!  I wore this to my elementary school internship, and my supervisor was also wearing a gray sweater dress with leggings and black boots.  Everyone kept joking with us that we called each other in the morning to get dressed, ha!  Brings me back to the days of middle school... We also were laughing because, while I'm only at that site once a week, we almost always wind up both wearing gray on the days that I'm there.  Apparently, I either wear entirely too much gray, or I need to switch up the day of the week in which I wear gray...

Does that ever happen to you?  Do you find yourself matching with colleagues a lot?  Or is this just a weird "me" thing??


Polka Dots and Bows

Dress: Old Navy Cardigan: Kohls Tights / Belt: Target Boots: Bare Traps

I got this polka dot chambray dress for under $10 back in October, and I absolutely love it.  It's super comfortable, and the polka dots are darling.  The dress is sleeveless, which makes it perfect for layering!  Today, I decided to wear it with my cozy mustard cardigan for a pop of color.  Instead of using the tie belt that comes with the dress, I added my cognac bow belt for some quirkiness.  I love how the outfit turned out.  I was toasty warm in my tights and boots, and it was perfect for the snow and cold outside.


Summer Skirt, Winter Colors

Shirt / Cardigan: Old Navy Skirt: Target, thrifted new Tights / Boots: Target

I got this skirt from Goodwill awhile ago.  After realizing that pencil skirts are not the best shape for me, and that I love the comfort of skirts with elastic waists, I have been on the lookout for such skirts when I've been out and about.  I haven't found any skirts in the stores that fit my criteria or my pocketbook, but when I saw this pretty skirt at Goodwill with the tags still on it, I knew I needed to try it out.  The print is a little wild for me, but I love the colors and the way it fits.  The material and the print also seem a little bit more suited to the warmer weather, but with the darker colors of the skirt, I thought I'd try it out for cooler weather.  I think it worked pretty well, and I got several positive comments about my outfit when I wore it.  Not too shabby!


Yoga Jeans?

Tee / Scarf: JCPenney Jeans: Old Navy (sooo old!) Vest: Christopher & Banks, thrifted Shoes: Target

This is another study outfit from last week that I wore to the library on campus.  I loved how comfortable and cozy I was in the library that day.  These pants are super old and a little bit too short for me, but I love wearing them on study days because they seriously feel like yoga pants.  Anything that is that comfortable like that is welcomed warmly into my closet! :)  I am so happy that I was able to find all these vests at Goodwill a few weeks ago.  I seriously wear at least one of them every week.  They are a perfect outfit completer!


Ski Bunny

Dress: Old Navy Leggings / Boots: Target Vest: Thrifted Scarf: From my mom

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving!  I had a great, relaxing weekend at my in-laws' house.  We ate a lot of food, watched some movies, went on lots of walks, played a ton of games, and had great conversations.  I was really bummed to see the weekend end, since I have the busiest week ever this week.  My comprehensive exam for my Masters program is this Saturday, so I've been spending a ton of time studying.  On top of that, I'm still interning, working, and wrapping up my classes for the semester.  It's been really hectic, to say the least.  I am giving you all the heads up that my posting may be sporadic for the next couple of weeks, and while I have been keeping up with all your blogs in my Feedly app, I haven't had a free second to sit down and comment yet.  Once the semester is done, expect a flood of comments :)

I wore this outfit to the library to study last week.  It was a perfect studying outfit - incredibly comfortable with my leggings and sweater dress, but presentable for being in public as well.  These leggings are so darn cute and I love how funky they are!  Between the leggings, the vest, and the scarf, I felt like I should have been at a ski lodge for the day, haha.

Again, please bear with me these next few weeks.  I've never been busier in my entire life, and at some point, I need to prioritize everything on my plate.  Obviously, school comes before my blog (sorry!), so I'll be spending most of my time and energy plugging away on all that I need to get done by the end of the semester.  Thank you in advance for understanding!


Budgeting Bloggers - November

It's time for another budget recap!  Last month, I reflected a lot about my spending and decided I wanted to make a change for myself.  I am pleased to report that, while I did spend a little bit of money this month, it wasn't very much.  I also only bought things that I've been looking for, which has helped me feel better.  Here's a small collage and summary of what I bought:

  • Pink puffer vest: $4, thrifted from Goodwill.
  • Cream sweater: $15, Target.
  • Red puffer vest: $4, thrifted from Goodwill.
  • Purple quilted vest: $4, thrifted from Goodwill. Seen here.
  • Black puffer vest: $4, thrifted from Goodwill, not pictured.  I am especially proud of this, because it's a Kenneth Cole vest that would have retailed at well over $100!  It's in perfect condition, too!
So, that is what I bought this month, for a grand total of $31.  Not too shabby, eh?  I was even able to resist Black Friday deals and am happy to have saved some money.  Historically, December has been a heavier shopping month for me, due to Christmas and my birthday.  I do have a few gift cards right now that I've been hanging onto, but I think I'm going to wait to spend them.  I have a couple more things that I've been looking for to add to my closet, and I haven't been able to find just the perfect things yet.

I'm linking up with Franish!!


Bold Vest

Dress: Old Navy Vest: Thrifted Tights: JCPenney Boots: Target, thrifted new Necklace: Gift from my parents

Today's outfit features one of my favorite color combinations: black, white, and red!  I love how bold this outfit is.  Between the big stripes on the dress and the bright red vest, I think this outfit is a "win."  This is another one of my new vests that I am excited to have in my closet.  I love that it's reversible as well - the inside print is white, black, and red plaid, which you can kind of see up at the neck of the vest.

On another's almost Thanksgiving!  I'm so excited for tomorrow - Kevin and I are going to his aunt and uncle's house about two hours north of Minneapolis to celebrate the holiday with his side of the family.  I'm really excited, since I've never been to their house before and am excited to "get away" for a little bit.  I've been completely overwhelmed with everything these days, so I'm looking forward to just getting to relax a little bit before the rush and panic of the end of the semester.  What are you all doing for Thanksgiving??


See You Later, Ankles!

Top: Maurices Cardigan: Target Pants: Old Navy Shoes: TJMaxx 

 A close-up of my shoes from those of you who were curious about seeing them last time I wore them!

I can't stay away from maroon.  It's one of my favorite colors to wear right now, and I just love how it looks with black and white!  I knew this past week that I would only have about one more day to wear ankle pants with flats, since the cold temperatures have finally really arrived - I even had to take out my puffy winter coat to beat the windchill!  I decided to rock my maroon ankle pants one last time, before I need to relegate them to being worn just with boots for the winter.


Floral Leggings...Too "Out There," or Wearable?

Dress: Old Navy Cardigan: Target, thrifted new Leggings / Booties: Target

I love a good pair of leggings, you guys.  I showed a different fun pair of leggings last week, and I just can't stay away from them when they're on clearance at Target.  While I love wearing leggings casually at home, I sometimes like to wear them with a solid dress or simple skirt to add some visual interest to the outfit.  I realize this floral pair of leggings is a little bit "out there," but I really love them and felt good in this outfit.  The leggings get the chance to shine with the otherwise simple chambray dress, red cardigan, and ankle booties.  Would you ever wear a bold pair of floral leggings??


Splash of Blue

Dress: Old Navy Leggings: Victoria's Secret Boots: Target Scarf: JCPenney

Earlier this week, I posted about how much I love black and green together, but I have another favorite color to pair with black: bold cobalt blue.  I've worn this color combination plenty of ways before, but I just can't seem to stop!  I really like this sweater dress because it is cozy and I'm a fan of stripes, but I didn't want to look like I belonged in prison.  To add a little splash of color, I added my cobalt blue scarf, and I like how it looks with the rest of the outfit!

Here are a few other ways I've worn black and blue together.  The original posts are linked below.
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5


Pinned It and Did It: Polka Dots!

Sweater / Blouse: Old Navy Pants: JCPenney Flats: Payless Necklace: From my sister-in-law

As someone who, for the past year and a half, has been tracking her outfits and not liking to be an outfit repeater, I have to admit I've worn this outfit twice in the past two weeks.  I feel amazing in it.  This sweater is ridiculously cute and cozy, and I love how the maroon blouse underneath brings out the maroon polka dots on the sweater.  It's a traditional silhouette, but the polka dots, pearl necklace and earrings, and sparkly headband make it a fun outfit.

The inspiration for this outfit came from this pin (via Lulu's).  I'll be linking up with Heather today for Pinned It and Did It!


Black and Green

Blouse: JCPenney Blazer: Old Navy Pants: Target Boots: Guess

What is it about black and green together that I love so much?  I have worn this color combination on the blog before (see here and here for a few examples), but there's something so striking about it that I love.  This sheer green shirt was an addition to my closet a few months ago, and while I love it immensely, I haven't worn it in many unique ways.  Previously, I've worn it on its own with jeans and flats, but I wanted to make it work-appropriate.  I love how it looks with my black ponte pants and black blazer.  I felt professional in the outfit all day at my internship.  Perhaps next time, I'll try wearing the top with one of my black skirts!


An Ode to Vests

Sweater / Jeans: Old Navy Vest: Christopher & Banks, thrifted Shoes: Target Scarf: From my mom

You guys, I just really love vests.  I have my green vest that works great for all seasons, and I used to have a cream vest that I loved, but accidentally shrunk in the wash.  I've been looking for some more winter-appropriate vests to wear with sweaters and long-sleeved tees.  While I adore the J.Crew Factory vest and the J.Crew quilted puffer vest that have been worn by every other blogger this fall, I cannot stomach the huge price tag on either.  Instead, I decided to hit up my local Goodwill to see what kinds of vests they had.  Oh, man.  I hit the jackpot!  I was able to find this beautiful purple quilted vest from Christopher & Banks for $4.  It's similar to the J.Crew version (and the Old Navy version), but in my favorite color - a rich plum - and for a fantastic price.  I also found a black Kenneth Cole Reaction puffer vest for $4, which is a fantastic deal, as these usually run over $100!  On the same trip, I also picked up a red puffer vest and a pink one.  I think I'm set on vests for a while now!

Today, I decided to style the purple vest with my camel sweater, a pair of skinny jeans, my camel ankle boots, and a pretty pink scarf.  I wore this outfit on a Sunday a couple of weekends ago, and then I wore it again for class the next evening - no shame.  It is comfortable, cozy, warm, and perfect for studying!



Top / Skirt / Leggings / Boots: Target Necklace: Forever 21

Okay, maybe this is just me, but I act differently when I'm wearing different outfits.  For instance, when I'm wearing more buttoned up and conservative outfits, I'm much more mellow.  When I wear outfits that are more formal, I tend to be more serious and "ladylike."  But when I wear an outfit like this that features the spunkiest pair of leggings that I own, I feel feisty and excitable all day.  I wore this outfit to work and class last week and I was a complete goofball all day.  These leggings are pretty wild, but I love them so much.  In order to pull something like this off, I think you need to be pretty confident, so I walked tall all day and felt like I could do anything!

Is this just me, or do you feel like your personality or outlook on the day changes according to what you are wearing?


Leopard Week - Belt + Linkup!!

Dress / Tights / Boots: Target Cardigan: Kohls Belt: The Limited

Today is Friday, which means that it's the last day of Leopard Week, which I cohosted with the lovely Andi.  This leopard belt was one of the first leopard printed things I have ever owned, and I really love it.  So far, I've worn it with a range of different colors, but almost always with dresses.  I love the way it helps cinch in my waist!  I know that this cream lace dress is pretty springy, but I wanted to try to make it appropriate for the cooler weather by adding tights, boots, and a cardigan.  I think it looks pretty good - what do you think?  Did I convince you that you can wear a lace dress for colder weather?

I can't wait to see all your linked leopard outfits.  Join the linkup below and check out the other participants to see how others have styled leopard print.


Leopard Week - Flats!! + Pinned It and Did It

Blouse: Target, thrifted new
Cardigan / Jeans: Target
Flats: Payless

I assure you, I am wearing leopard flats today for Leopard Week with Andi.  I've been experimenting with different settings on my iPhone camera to try to get better photos.  Today, while the image is a little crisper, the lighting down by my feet is pretty crappy so you can't even tell that my flats are leopard print!  What a bummer.  Oh well!  I was inspired to pair my purple ruffled blouse with my olive jeans and cream cardigan after looking at this pin from Corilynn.  I love the way olive and purple look together, and the addition of cream is just perfect and keeps the outfit from looking too heavy.

Just a reminder that tomorrow, you'll have the chance to link up your leopard outfits with Andi or myself, so get ready!  I'm also linking up with H&K Style Journey for Pinned It and Did It today!  Check out the other submissions!


Leopard Week - Scarf...Part 2!!

Dress / Blazer / Scarf: Old Navy
Tights: Target
Boots: Guess

Leopard Week is halfway over, y'all!  Obviously, my leopard infinity scarf needed to be included this week.  It's one of my favorite scarves and I've worn it so many different ways.  Today, I decided to wear this dress, which is a beautiful shade of purple.  The dress is short sleeved and a little on the thin side, so I paired it with my black blazer and fleece-lined tights for extra warmth.  While the lighting of the photo is off, my boots are actually a warm brown color, which brings in the brown from the leopard print scarf.  All in all, I love the outfit and felt great in it all day!

Be sure to check over at Andi's blog to see how she's wearing leopard today!


Leopard Week - Scarf!!

Blouse / Blazer: Gap Jeans / Flats: Old Navy Scarf: From my mom

It's the second day of Leopard Week with Andi!  Today's outfit features my light blue leopard print scarf.  My mom gave it to me because it was too voluminous for her...I say, her loss, my gain! :)  I love this scarf and have typically only worn it with browns before.  Last time I wore it, I asked for suggestions of what colors to pair it with and Abby suggested I try it out with navy.  So today, I decided to wear my navy blazer with the scarf, and I absolutely love the way the look turned out!  Thank goodness for blogging friends, right?!

I'm also linking up with Bri for Third Thursday Threads!


Leopard Week - TOMS!!

Sweatshirt / Tank / Jeans: Old Navy Scarf: From my mom Shoes: TOMS

It's the first day of Leopard Week, which I'm co-hosting with the lovely Andi from Just Another Smith.  I am starting off the week with my leopard TOMS.  I have several pairs of TOMS, but these leopard ones might be my favorite.  I love the silver leopard print, because it's neutral and matches with so many outfits.  They might be some of my most comfortable shoes as well.  I also love that they're lined with hot pink corduroy.  It keeps them cozy and warm for cooler weather, but if I wear them in the summer, they aren't too sweaty and gross.

As for the outfit, I wore this on Saturday when I spent the day working on homework.  These jeans are quite comfortable, and since our apartment has been chilly lately, I wanted to layer up with a comfy and cozy sweatshirt and scarf.  I've been MIA a little bit in the blogging world (I've pre-scheduled many of my posts, but have not had the chance to sit down and comment on or read blogs lately...) since I'm in over my head with work, school, and my internships.  We have our comprehensive exams in less than a month, so I've been busy studying for those on top of all my other coursework (omg so many projects right now!).  I am so looking forward to the end of the semester, when I'll have some time to relax and catch up on all kinds of life projects and things.  Until then, bear with me, please!! :)

Check out Andi's first outfit for Leopard Week, too!  And be sure to stop back tomorrow for Day Two of Leopard Week!


Camel, Maroon, and Florals

Shirt: Old Navy, thrifted Blazer: Thrifted Pants / Flats: Old Navy Necklace: From my grandma

I bought this blazer back on Labor Day, but I haven't actually worn it until just recently.  I'm not sure what took me so long to finally create an outfit featuring this piece, but I'm glad I did - I really like the way it looks on me, and the color is fantastic.  It's a nice warm cognac that is perfect for the fall.  I knew I wanted to wear it with this floral blouse, and was originally going to try it out with some skinny jeans.    However, when I was going through my closet, I came across my maroon ankle pants and thought that they might complement the rest of the outfit quite nicely!  I'm really pleased with how this outfit turned out.  It was perfect for work, and it reflects my sense of style nicely, I think.

I also want to remind you that I'll be co-hosting Leopard Week with Andi of Just Another Smith next week.  We'll be showing you how we style certain articles of leopard print clothing and accessories each day next week, and you'll be able to link up with us next Friday!


Pinned It and Did It: Pink and Gray

Shirt: Old Navy, thrifted Blazer: Calvin Klein, thrifted Jeans: JCPenney Shoes: TOMS

It's time for another installment of Pinned It and Did It over on H&K Style Journey!  Sometimes, my Pinterest-based outfits are close recreations of outfits, but sometimes, I'm inspired by things as simple as a color combination...which is the case for today!  I was inspired by this pin and knew I wanted to put together a gray and pink outfit.  In my entire closet, I only have two things that are this shade of light pink: this blouse and a pink scarf with flowers on it.  The top was the winner today!  I wanted to make this outfit somewhat work-appropriate, so I paired it with my light gray blazer, my dark wash bootcut jeans, and my trusty gray TOMS.  I like how the outfit turned out and felt peaceful in this nice color combination all day!

Check out the other bloggers who have been inspired by their Pinterest boards over at Heather's blog!

HK Style Journey

Also, I am letting you all know that I'll be co-hosting Leopard Week over at Just Another Smith with the lovely Andi next week!  Get your leopard print pieces out and join us!!


Camera Advice?

 Top: Calvin Klein, thrifted Blazer / Jeans: Old Navy Booties: Target

This is the first outfit I wore featuring these booties from Target.  I loved how they looked on Whitney, who has been consistently rocking them with skirts and dresses.  I wanted to see how they'd work with skinny/straight leg jeans, so I put together this outfit.  I love how the brown and black look together, and I like this top because it has some pretty embroidery at the top, so I don't need to wear a necklace.

Once again, the lighting in this photo is really messed up - the top I'm wearing is a nice, medium brown, and the boots are a lighter taupe color.  I took this photo in the morning, though, so the golden sun was shining in, distorting the colors.  One of these days, I'll start saving my pennies for a nicer, real camera.  Sigh.  Just to put my feelers out there...what kinds of cameras do you recommend for someone who doesn't want something super expensive or complicated?  I'm looking for something that is smaller and could be compatible with a remote/tripod.  It doesn't need to be fancy or anything, just one that would take decent pictures and is workable for a photography dummy like myself.


Quintessential Brynn

Top / Cardigan / Jeans: Target Flats: Payless Necklace: Gift from parents

When I think about my style and how I like to dress, there are several things that come to mind:
  • Comfort is the most important thing.  If I am not comfortable in my clothes, I get really crabby.  I like my clothes to fit me well and feel good on my body.
  • I always want to look put together.  Even on weekends, I like to make sure I'm wearing clothes that are presentable to the public and that will allow me to feel productive.
  • I have been very drawn to neutrals as of late, and find great peace in an all-neutral outfit.  I think they're the best to have in my wardrobe because they can mix and match together, but can be spiced up with an interesting accessory.
  • Speaking of accessories...necklaces and scarves do a great job of making an outfit interesting.  I never want to look plain, so adding a necklace or a scarf to an outfit makes it much more unique. A fun pair of shoes or a belt can do the same thing.
I like this outfit because it has almost all of these criteria.  It's comfortable, looks polished, is made of neutral elements, but has some visually interesting pieces like a necklace, lace top, and leopard flats to keep it from looking stale.  This outfit is so "me," that I can't help but love it.


Weekend Comfort

 Top / Pants: Old Navy Cardigan / Shoes: Target Necklace: Forever 21

I don't have all that much to say about today's outfit, except for the fact that I love it and want to wear it all the time.  I was cozy all day in my chambray shirt and cardigan, and I felt cute with my navy floral headband and navy necklace.  These shoes are comfortable as well, and I like how they look with skinnier pants like these.  I have yet to try wearing these shoes with a skirt or dress, but I'm excited to give it a shot one of these days!


Budgeting Bloggers: October + Cutting Down on Shopping/Spending

I said last month that I was going to really cut down on my shopping in October.  Well, I failed at that one...and I failed at keeping track of what I bought and how much I spent as well.  I did buy the Kiriana boot from Target for $25ish, a couple of pairs of leggings for $5 apiece at Target, some cognac ballet flats from Old Navy for $9, and a couple of dresses on clearance for about $5 apiece, and two cardigans for $20.  I'm pretty sure there were other things as well...but I can't remember, and I have a lot of other things on my mind right now regarding budget, shopping, spending, etc.

While I absolutely love blogging, documenting my outfits, and connecting with all of you, I know that my shopping habits have just increased and the amount of money I'm spending has increased since I started blogging in January.  It's just fun and exciting to get new things and create outfits with my new pieces.  However, I'm not in a place in my life in which I can be spending this kind of money on clothes, of all things.  The materialism/consumerism piece that comes with blogging (I've noticed it in myself but also in tons of other bloggers) kind of grosses me out, and I want to get away from that.

I'm not 100% sure what I want to do from here.  I know that if I put myself on a huge shopping ban, I'm going to be just even more tempted to buy, buy, buy, and I obviously don't have great self-control, so I'm not sure that's going to work.  However, if I keep my habits the same and don't change a thing, I'm not comfortable with that either.

Here are some of the things I'm going to do:
  • Unsubscribe from store emails.  All too often, I get an email from Old Navy or Gap or something saying that the store is 30% off, and I decide I need to just check things out.  This almost always winds up in me spending money.  This is such an easy fix!!
  • Stay away from the clothing section at Target.  I'm at Target often for normal, household things like toilet paper, dish soap, and groceries.  If I stay away from the clothing section, I am not even tempting myself to see what I might be missing.
  • If I feel like I need to shop, only go to thrift stores, and bring a limited amount of cash to spend.  Honestly, part of what I love about shopping is getting a good deal.  Shopping at thrift stores gives me such a thrill.  I love going through racks and trying to find awesome pieces amongst all the duds.  Also, if I bring just a small amount of cash with me, I won't be able to overspend and pull out my credit card to get more.  This will also help me determine whether or not I really need something, or if I just like it because of the price.
  • Shop using only gift cards.  I do have some gift cards that I will still use.  As far as I'm concerned, gift cards are "free money," and I think that as long as I have them, I shouldn't let them go to waste.
  • Replace things that I'm lukewarm about with things that I love.  I have recently finally realized that while I love pencil skirts and more formfitting dresses on other people, they just do not look good on me.  I wind up passing over these items constantly in my closet because I know that I'll be uncomfortable in them during the day.  I now know that a-line skirts and fit and flare dresses are the best shape for me.  I need to get rid of all of the stuff that doesn't flatter me and replace them with versions that do flatter me.  This will likely be a long-term thing, and I'm not sure what my process will be, but it is something that I have been thinking a lot about lately.
  • Sell some of my clothing that doesn't fit or doesn't work in my closet anymore.  I have a HUGE pile of clothes in our spare bedroom that I know I need to do something with.  While much of it probably should get thrown out or donated, I have several really nice things that I've only worn a few times.  It would be great to try and get some money back on those pieces as well.  I'm thinking about doing a blog sale or setting up a Poshmark account, or even trying eBay to sell some of my previously loved items.
  • Participate in more closet and wardrobe challenges using my existing items.  I love capsule wardrobes and clothing challenges.  I think that if I participate in more of these challenges, it forces me to look at my clothing in a new way and try to be as creative as possible with the pieces that I have.  Every time I do a 30x30 or a closet challenge, my desire to get new things goes wayyy down.  This is something that would be really easy for me!
  • Take things one day at a time.  You know how people are unsuccessful at losing weight if they say that they're going to cut out all carbs, sugars, and fats at once?  I think that cutting down on spending habits and shopping is the same way.  If I put myself on a year-long shopping ban, I know that I will fail really quickly.  However, if I try to take things in baby steps, it might actually work.  For instance, I know that I do not need any more jewelry.  That is a quick thing to stop buying right off the bat.  I'm feeling like I have a great collection of cardigans and camisoles, so I probably don't need to add anymore of them into my closet as well.  If I tell myself "no" to certain clothing items that I'm usually tempted to buy (but have plenty of in my closet already), I think I'll be able to resist spending just because something is pretty or a good deal.
So.  This is where I'm at with my closet, my shopping habits, my spending, etc.  I have a big job ahead of me in trying to clear things out and become 100% in love with every single piece that I own.  With some transitions coming up in the next year for Kevin and me, I know that I really need to get my shopping under control so that I can contribute financially to our family in a better way.  It's going to take work and I'll probably have some slip-ups, but I know things need to change.  I think it's time!

Do any of you have other advice about what has worked for you in spending less money on clothing?  I'm eager to hear your suggestions, advice, and stories!!

I'll be linking up with Franish and the other budgeting bloggers this month!