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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!!