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Leopard Love + Capsule Collage | Part One

Shirt: Gift from my parents | Cardigan: Target | Pants / Flats: Kohls

I really like leopard print, you guys.  I have a leopard print scarf, some flats, a dress, and a belt in traditional brown and black leopard print.  I really like gray leopard print as well, as evidenced by the sweatshirt I bought this month, my leopard TOMS, my leopard tights, and today's shirt.  I'm not sure what it is about it that I like so's probably because I own mostly black, gray, and white clothing, which means I can mix and match it all with my gray leopard print items.  I just love this shirt, though - the collar has jewels on it, so I don't need to wear a necklace with it.  The insides of the cuffs on the shirt are this awesome fuchsia color, so when I roll the sleeves up like I did here, you get a splash of color.  It fits me perfectly.  The only thing that I don't love about it is that it's so memorable that I can't wear it more often!!

I also wanted to link up with Anne and Jacquelyn to show off the first eight outfits that I've blogged from my capsule wardrobe.  In these outfits shown here, I've literally not repeated one piece of clothing yet...haha.  I do want to say that I am about two weeks behind on posting my outfits, so in real life, I have repeated items at this point, but they just haven't made it to the blog yet!


Budgeting Bloggers: September

Yes, I'm still doing a year of no shopping, but I did buy some things this month.  As I laid out in my original post, I am allowing myself to buy things with gift cards and rewards, and I can spend money on new black boots and on some new clothes if I wind up gaining losing weight.  So, this month, I had some rewards at Old Navy that were going to expire, and I decided to buy a few new things.

  • Maroon dress, $35 | A ton of my dresses from last year don't fit me anymore (ugh), and I desperately needed something long-sleeved that was work-appropriate.  I bought this dress in a tall so that it would have a little extra length, and it fits me so nicely!
  • Leopard print sweatshirt, $20 | I bought a couple of these sweatshirts last year in the store at Old Navy, and while I liked them, they fit me awkwardly.  The size large was too short in the sleeves and the length, but the extra large was huge on me (although I still lounge around in it allll the time), so when I saw that I could order this sweatshirt in a tall large, I decided to go for it.  Again, it fits me very nicely, and I'm eager to wear it soon!
  • Maroon studded tank, $15 | I really love maroon, especially for the cooler months, and I was very drawn to the color of this tank.  I love the addition of the studs and the fact that it can be worn with some of my ponte pants (due to the length), and I can already tell it will get worn frequently.
  • Space-dyed top, $14 | I first saw this shirt when Audrey wrote a post all about it, and it's the first time I've ever clicked on a blogger's link and bought something featured on their blog.  I love tees with a little extra "something" to them, like the space-dyed print on this tee.  It happens to be SO soft and stretchy, and I love that it's nice enough to be worn to work, but I can throw it on with jeans or leggings on weekends and call it good, too.  I also ordered this in a tall so that it would be a little longer (and long enough in the sleeves, which I sometimes run into issues with when I buy Old Navy's "regular" sizes).
Total: $84 + 30% off + $50 rewards: $5 out of pocket.  Yes, I bought all of this for $5.  Wooo!!

[I'm linking up with Fran and the other budgeting bloggers.]


Biking Shoes?

Shirt: Old Navy | Pants: Kohls | Shoes: TOMS

Here's a simple little outfit I wore to work a couple of weeks ago.  I happened to bike to work that day, and these shoes were perfect for such an occasion.  I've been biking to work once a week, and I haven't been wearing my tennis shoes (mainly because Rooney chewed one up and I haven't had the chance to get another pair...).  This means that I've been biking to work with whatever shoes I plan to wear that day...most of the time, that means ballet flats.  But seriously, biking wearing ballet flats is the pits.  Ouch.  I feel like I should just plan to wear my TOMS every time I want to bike to work, because they're so damn comfortable.


When Kevin Is My Photographer...

Top: J.Jill | Pants: Old Navy | Flats: Payless

 A close-up so you can see the detail on my pants!

Y'all, I love a good blooper reel.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing other people laugh, so when I have the chance to watch bloopers of my favorite television shows and movies, I watch them over and over again (some of my favorites are here and here).  I also tend to think that photo bloopers are pretty great as well.  For instance, the animal rescue that we fostered and adopted Rooney from takes photos of all the adoptable dogs at every meet and greet event.  On their Facebook page every so often, they post bloopers of the different dogs - usually of the dog with their tongue flopping out or their eyes blinking dopily.  Because I'm a sucker for bloopers and I'm obsessed with dogs, these pictures always crack me up.

Blogging photos are no different.  Now, because I take 99% of my blog photos on my iPhone with a self-timer app, I self-edit most of the pictures right away.  To be quite honest, I usually take one or two photos and then decide to be done.  It's not fancy, but it works for me.  If there are awkward pictures where I have sticking up hair or a derpy facial expression, I usually just delete them right away.  However, if it's too windy for my phone to stay up on its own, I will ask Kevin to take my pictures for me.  He takes about 40-50 pictures in about 20-30 seconds and it makes me feel so awkward...which then makes me do awkward things with my face and body...and then I get a huge collection of awkward photos such as these:

[I look like I am in the chorus of a musical or something.] 

 [This facial expression is terrifying.  And you can see the wind poofing out my shirt so I look large and in charge.]

 [As is this one.  Also, my wrist looks broken.]

 [This is me telling Kevin, "STOP!" as I'm giggling my ass off.]

I'm linking up with Fran for a blogging blooper linkup today, and I am so excited to see all of the other bloopers that you all are so bravely and shamelessly sharing :)


Sayonara, Jeans.

Tee: Thrifted (brand unknown) | Jeans: JCPenney | Scarf: Gift from a friend | Boots: Fergalicious

Dang it.  I thought I was able to get away with wearing these jeans by saying that they were "dark gray," but now I see they're just extremely faded black jeans.  It's such a bummer, too, because they are SO comfortable and have gotten quite soft as I've worn them.  They were a staple in my wardrobe all winter because I wore them to work and my internship all the time.  It's time to retire the uber-faded black jeans now, though.  Sad, sad day.

(Also, this is a weekend outfit from a couple of weeks ago, and doesn't include items from my capsule.)


An Ode to Fall

Dress: Target, thrifted | Jacket: JCPenney | Booties: Payless | Necklace: Gift from my parents

Like basically all the bloggers, fall is my favorite season, but it's not for the pumpkin spice lattes (never had one, never will...), the start of football season, or even for the fashion.  For me, fall represents an interesting mixtures of beginning - which I attribute to the beginning of the school year - and end (things are starting to die).  I live in Minnesota, which means we have short but absolutely stunning falls.  The leaves begin to change colors and turn bold shades of orange, red, and gold.  The grass starts to get frosty in the mornings.  The sky is clear, the clouds are fluffy, and the breeze is crisp.  Fall is my favorite season to be outside, to enjoy nature, to reflect.

Let's be real, though, fall fashion is hands-down the best, as well, though.  I've always loved layering up in sweaters, boots, and scarves, and I love all of the rich colors that become prevalent in the fall.  I like being able to wear leggings, boots, and a sweatshirt outside when I'm walking my dogs - I feel the warm sun on my skin but I don't need to worry about my puffy winter jacket yet.

Some of my favorite fall items of clothing are in this outfit.  Let's discuss:

  1. Utility jacket | This jacket is perfect for the fall because it's a fantastic weight, olive green is a great fall color, and I love how I can toss it on over basically every tank and tee that I own, and it makes the outfit more appropriate for the weather and season.
  2. Versatile black dress | I know we all know the merits of a little black dress, but this casual black dress is great specifically for the fall.  It can be worn with ankle booties and bare legs like I did here, but when it gets a little cooler, I can wear it with tights or leggings and tall boots as well.  Additionally, the color and style of this dress make it ideal for layering.
  3. Booties | I love a good pair of tall boots like other women and tend to live in them once it gets cold and snowy outside, but ankle booties are fantastic for the fall.  They cover your toes without making your whole leg all sweaty on those warmer fall days.
  4. Dark neutrals | Now, I've basically converted most of my closet to neutrals, but that's just because they work!!  I love how they can be mixed and matched with each other with little-to-know thought.  These darker neutrals like black, olive, and brown look great together in the fall.
I'm linking up with Bri for Third Thursday Threads today, and I can't wait to see and hear all about everyone else's fall favorites.


Ankle Pants!

Tank: Old Navy | Cardigan: Talbot's, thrifted | Pants: Target | Flats: Kohls

About three weeks ago, my mom called me and said she found this great pair of gray ankle pants in my size on the clearance rack at Target. and wanted to know if I wanted to try them.  My answer? YES PLEASE!  I was thrilled when this pair actually fit.  I haven't tried Target's ankle pants but had just automatically assumed that they wouldn't fit me.  I was wrong, and I'm so glad about that.

Ankle pants are definitely one of my favorite things to wear to work - they're comfortable and cute, they can work for basically all the seasons (I wear boots to work with them and change into "normal" shoes when I get to work if I wear ankle pants in the winter), and they go with many different kinds of tops.  It's no wonder I have multiple pairs of them in my capsule, right?

This is the first way I've worn these new pants.  I love how pink and gray look together, so pairing these gray pants with my pink and white floral cardigan felt like a good choice.  Not too shabby, right?


Get Healthy

Tank / Jeans: Old Navy | Cardigan: Target | Flats: Payless | Necklace: From my mom

I have spoken multiple times on my blog before about my struggles with eating, body image, etc., but I'm going to do it again today.

So, I'm a part of this group on Facebook that's all about having a healthier and more active lifestyle.  There are about 700 women in the group, and it's really encouraging.  Almost all of the women are larger than average, like me, which has been such a great environment.  We're all women who have struggled with their weight and desire to make a change, and everyone is so supportive of one another.

Back on September 1, over 300 (maybe even more) of us decided to start a 90 Day Challenge.  We're all broken into teams with a coach, and we have weekly challenges that we need to accomplish and check in on our Facebook group.  Each participant in the challenge also has some non-scale-related goals that she is supposed to achieve over the course of the challenge as well.  One of my goals for the challenge is to ride my bike to work at least once a week.  Well, today's outfit was worn on one of those days.

I wound up wearing my jeans, flats, and tank top to bike in with a long-sleeved athletic 1/4-zip shirt on top for warmth, and then had my cardigan and necklace in my backpack to change into at work.  It worked pretty well!  I only live 2.7 miles from my school, and it's mostly downhill on the way there, so I don't get sweaty.  I do have some body spray and deodorant that I keep in my desk for the mornings that I bike to make sure I smell nice and fresh for my students.

So far, I've been doing pretty well with my challenge.  I haven't weighed myself a) because we don't have a scale, and b) I don't want to focus on weight loss, but rather on incorporating healthier choices in to my life.  It's been hard to get in all the water I need some days (because it means I pee a lot, haha), and I don't love veggies so I sometimes "forget" to eat them, but I've had some great changes as well.  I've been walking more, biking more, eating more fruits, avoiding more sweets, etc.  The support of my coach and the other women on my team has been so encouraging.  I've tried Zumba workouts at home (which is hard to do on carpet, by the way), and I'm hoping to try out PiYo one of these days as well.  My fellow counselors at work have invited me to work out with them at their gym, so as soon as I start getting regular paychecks again (TODAY!!), I'm going to join so I have some classes to go to as well.

Getting my life on track, becoming more active, and making better choices is not an easy thing, but I know it's crucial for my health.  Over the summer, I reached my peak weight and felt pretty much miserable about it.  I'd love to make sure that my weight never creeps that high again, and the only thing that's keeping me from losing the weight is me.  Now that I'm getting down a routine for work, I'm really eager to start coming up with a steady workout routine as well.  I love biking, I love yoga, I love walking (especially with other people), I love fruits, I've been enjoying my meat-free lifestyle for the past 3 months...things are starting to fall into place.  And I'm really hoping that it sticks!

What have some of you all done to incorporate healthy choices into your lives?  I'm always finding myself inspired by my blogging friends...


The Best Dress

Dress: Old Navy | Blazer: Calvin Klein, thrifted | Sandals: Target

I honestly don't think I'll ever get sick of this dress.  I love everything about it - the material, the pattern, the colors, the way it fits me, etc.  I don't think it's the most versatile dress in my closet, but sometimes you have to have a piece that you just love, right?  And I love this dress, so there.  I decided to mix it up and wear it with my gray blazer, which, by the way, is super freaking comfortable.  I want all the knit blazers now.


School Outfit

Tee: Old Navy | Skirt: Target | Shoes: TOMS | Necklace: Forever 21

Here's my second day of school outfit, aka my first capsule outfit! [We had to wear our staff tees on the first day, and I didn't think you'd really want to see that, right??]  I love gray and navy together, so this gray tee and navy + white striped skirt seem like a natural fit, right?  It was also on this day that I found out how freezing my office is.  It was quite hot outside, but I froze allll day!  Get used to seeing lots of layers from me, because I'm not sure I'll be able to function without them, haha!



Heyyy!  When I said I was going to post my first capsule outfit today, I was just kidding.  I'm interrupting my typical outfits posts with a fun video!!

I was nominated by the fantastic Marissa at The Modern Austen to participate in the 20 Things You Might Not Know About Me tag.  She decided to put her answers in a video format (which you can see here), and I thought it was a great I decided to blatantly copy her and make a video of my own!  I love when bloggers post videos, because I feel like it makes them more "real," so maybe this will make me more than just pixels to you all??  Hahaha.

You can also watch the video right on YouTube here if the embedded video doesn't work for you!

Here are the questions and the times at which I answer them, in case you want to jump around (totally understandable...this beast is long):

  1. How tall are you? (0:44)
  2. Do you have a hidden talent?  If so, what? (0:54)
  3. What's your biggest blog-related pet peeve? (1:28)
  4. What's your biggest non-blog-related pet peeve? (2:22)
  5. What's your favorite song? (2:52)
  6. What's your favorite Etsy shop that isn't yours? (4:03) [Eclectic Wendy Designs]
  7. What's your favorite way to spend your free time when you're alone? (4:54)
  8. What's your favorite junk food? (5:27)
  9. Do you have a pet or pets?  If so, what kind and what are their names? (5:39)
  10. What are your number one favorite nonfiction and fiction books? (6:40)
  11. What's your favorite beauty product? (7:26)
  12. When were you last embarrassed?  What happened? (8:07)
  13. If you could only drink on beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be? (8:57)
  14. What's your favorite movie? (9:20)
  15. What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep? (10:04)
  16. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? (10:46)
  17. PC or Mac? (11:29)
  18. Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse? (11:38)
  19. Favorite celebrity? (12:21)
  20. What blogger do you secretly want to be best friends with? (12:56) [Audrey & Fran]
There we go!  This was long...and I am kind of obnoxious.  If you made it to the end, you win!!

I'm tagging:
  • Danielle from A Little Bit of WoWe
  • Andi from Just Another Smith
  • Kate from A Journey in Style
  • Inge from This Ever Evolving Life
  • Whitney from Whitney a la Mode
If you aren't familiar with any of these ladies, make yourself familiar with them.  They're all super sweet, super funny, and they make my day on the reg.  And ladies, if I tagged you, I encourage you to do the tag if you're interested!


Before the Capsule

Before I dive into my capsule outfits, I want to show you three outfits that I wore during teacher workshops.  Our attire for the week was casual, so this is what I wore.

Tunic + Leggings: J. Jill | Flats: Old Navy | Necklace: Gift from my parents

This outfit was good for a day of meetings and listening to our keynote speaker, Anthony Muhammad, who spoke to our district about transforming school culture.  For all of you educators out there, if you aren't familiar with Anthony, I highly recommend you check out his blog or some of his books.  He was one of the most inspirational speakers I have ever heard!  [Also, I kind of feel like I look like an art teacher in this I wore it again yesterday while I painted all afternoon, haha!]

 Chambray + Tee + Jeans: Old Navy | Shoes: Target | Necklace: Eclectic Wendy Designs

This outfit and the next were worn on schedule change and new student enrollment days.  Since I was meeting with students and families, I wanted to look put together, but still stick with the casual vibe of the week.  This outfit wasn't necessarily my favorite (I think my denim jacket would have been a better choice here), but it got the job done.  Plus, these jeans are wickedly comfortable.

Tunic: J. Jill | Jeans: Jessica Simpson | Sandals: Target | Necklace: Forever 21

And here's a casual Friday look.  This tunic is in my capsule wardrobe, which I'm really excited about.  It's so soft and I love how it fits me...a little loose and drapey, but not too baggy.  It will look especially great with my ponte pants!

I'll be back tomorrow with outfit #1 of my capsule wardrobe!


Capsule Wardrobe!!

I've been really intrigued with capsule wardrobes for years.  Some of the first things I ever pinned on my Pinterest account were capsule wardrobes, actually!  After completing several remix challenges, three months of a yearlong shopping freeze, and a significant downsizing of my closet, it's time for me to get dressed using the capsule wardrobe mentality.

I've decided, for this first time around, to try the capsule out for just work outfits.  My capsule includes 39 pieces (not including shoes and accessories), and I am allowing myself to add up to 11 pieces to make a maximum 50 items.  I'm going to try and make it for awhile just using the items I have listed here, but knowing that I have the flexibility to add different items in gives me a little peace of mind :)

I'm going to try hard to vary my looks to keep things looking fresh and exciting for you all.  I'll definitely be documenting my work outfits using the capsule items on my blog, but I'll also probably sprinkle in some weekend looks here and there as well.

Here are the items I've selected for my capsule.

Row 1: white tank (worn here) | camel tank (worn here) | purple tank | black tank (worn here)  | cream tee (worn here)
Row 2: gray tee (worn here) | black + white striped tee (worn here) | striped oxford (worn here) | chambray popover (worn here) | blue blouse
Row 3: navy + white striped tee (worn here) | white button up (worn here) | cream tunic | cream blouse | camel + white striped tee (worn here)
Row 4: gray + white striped tee (worn here) | gray leopard print button up | black 3/4 sleeve top (worn here)
Row 5: black blouse | white + khaki striped sweater (worn here) | camel sweater (worn here)

Row 1: pink + white striped dress (worn here) | gray dress (worn here) | black dress (worn here)
Row 2: navy + white striped skirt (worn here) | teal ankle pants (worn here) | denim + velvet printed ankle pants
Row 3: gray ankle pants | black ponte pants (worn here) | gray ponte pants (worn here)
Row 4: dark wash skinny jeans (worn here)

Row 1: white boyfriend cardigan (worn here) | black cardigan (worn here) | pink + white floral cardigan (worn here)
Row 2: green military jacket (worn here) | gray blazer (worn here)
Row 3: camel cardigan (worn here) | gray cardigan (worn here) | navy boyfriend cardigan (worn here)

There you have it - the items I've selected for my fall capsule wardrobe!  I'm really excited to get started and to begin sharing some of my outfits with you all.

I'll be linking up with Anne for the capsule wardrobe series - check out the link up and see other bloggers who are going to try dressing using a capsule wardrobe!