Winter Blues

Ummm, so surprise snowstorm last night? Not cool, winter, not cool. I do a terrible job of following the weather (it just isn’t high on my priority list – sleep and shopping is?), so I was completely caught off guard by the four inches of snow that we got last night. Nothing says welcome to 2014 like a snowstorm, right?

At least I was prepared to layer it up today. This cardigan paired perfectly with my little boy’s gingham shirt for some winter blue layering. Ankle boots and jeans finished off the look for another casual look for work. It’s back to business casual next week, so expect some non-jeans. Sad face.

Our backyard (where I normally take my photos) is deep with snow, so our front porch served as a decent substitute. Our dead plants are to left and our cool outlet plug to the right. Just what you wanted to see, right? Come spring/summer, I’m on a mission to find some good background locations, so stick around for another three months, will you?

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  • On Target item: Merona Cardigan (exact – on sale in stores)
  • Shirt: Target (old – boys department; similar)
  • Jeans: Denizen, Target (exact)
  • Shoes: Mossimo ankle boots (old, similar)

New Year, New Closet: Closet Organization


Images from Google search

New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep, but so worthwhile when looking back at them if you do! Maybe yours is related to finding a style and wardrobe items that work with your job/lifestyle/needs. If so, stick around, because I’m going to try out a series during the month of January called “New Year, New Closet.” Every Thursday in January, I will feature a post that relates to cleaning out your closet and building it back up again. This won’t be a huge commitment of time and/or money, but will help start the new year off on the right foot with a clean closet and a fresh outlook on style (and who doesn’t want that).

Today is the first step towards that. We’re talking about cleaning out your closet (not the Eminem song) to build the foundation that is your wardrobe. Set aside an hour or two (maybe even this weekend!) to fully clean out your closet, dressers, shoe piles, jean stacks, etc. I also forget to look at my shorts and tank tops when doing this, so be sure to do a complete review.

Here are the steps that I take when organizing and cleaning out my closet:

  1. Go through everything. This means trying all items on (especially if you haven’t worn them in a year or more) and making sure it still fits, doesn’t have holes or stains that can’t be fixed, and still fits with your current/future self.
  2. Once you try it on, put the item in four piles: keep, sell (eBay, consignment shop, local thrift store, etc.), donate (Goodwill, Salvation Army, a friend’s closet, etc.), and trash. Be ruthless about your choices. If it doesn’t fit, it goes. If you haven’t worn it in a year but really want to keep it, make a goal to wear it in the next 30 days. If you don’t, it goes.
  3. Be on the lookout for classic staples that can be foundation pieces. Good-fitting black pants, the perfect little black dress, the classic white dress shirt, jeans that are just right, etc. Keep these, but only if you are going to wear them and they fit.
  4. Bag up the items for the last three piles (keep, sell, and trash) and set aside for a later time when you have time to take care of these.
  5. With the keep items, hang them on hangers; fold them up to put in shelves or drawers; line up shoes on shelves or racks; store scarves and belts in bins or racks; put away seasonal items into your seasonal storage (if you do this); and give your closet floor a good vacuum. I like to hang everything by color, but other methods work too (sleeve length; types of tops, season, etc.). It is all about what works for you!

Those are pretty simple ways to get the job done, and once they are complete, you’ll have a clean closet and a sense of accomplishment (and it is only the first week!). I’ll be back next week with a post on closet staples, and then the real fun starts in Weeks 3-5.

Putting On The Ritz for New Year’s

I ended up rocking this outfit last night for the two New Year’s Eve parties that The Fiance and I attended. I probably ended up overdressing for both parties, but I like to get dressed up for events like this. Plus, better to be overdressed, than underdressed, right?

Apparently, it took me all of a week to figure out how to rock the red tights that I had previously been so nervous about trying. New Year’s Eve felt like the perfect opportunity to rock a more “out there” look. These tights ended up being a great way to work in some color to an otherwise all black outfit. I had wanted some sequins, but this sparkly necklace did the trick.

What did you end up wearing for the New Year’s Eve celebration?!

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  • On Target item: Merona Premium Tights (exact)
  • Necklace: Target (old; similar)
  • Belt: The Limited (old)
  • Dress: Old Navy (old; similar; similar)
  • Shoes: Target (exact)

Creating a Budget + December 2013 Budget

It is about time. I decided after my no shopping ban in December (that worked out sooo well – just kidding – I cheated so many times) that I would go ahead and start setting a budget for my clothing/shoes/accessories purchases. I decided on an amount of $250 per month (not including gifts or gift cards). This is based on a whole bunch of various factors but is a good number for my personal and professional life.

December was my test month to get the budget ready for the new year (2014!…how are you here already?), and I think it is really going to work, and the nerd in me loves tracking the spending/savings and listing out each and every purchase. IT is almost exciting, guys (almost). Obviously, you’ll see some of these purchases through Target Haul posts, but some of the items will be from other stores that I shop at. I love reading these posts and was inspired to do this thanks to Fran from Franish and her Budgeting Bloggers. So hopefully, you’ll enjoy hearing about what I am adding to my wardrobe each month starting with the below post for December 2013.

December 2013 Budget
+ Grey Boyfriend Sweater; Old Navy – purchased for $18 (original cost: $27 – 40% off – here)
+ White Boyfriend Sweater; Old Navy – $14 ($27 – ~50% off – here)
+ Black Turtleneck Sweater; Target – $11 ($15 – 25% off – here)
+ Red/Blue Geo Sweater; Target – $12.50 ($25 – 50% off – here)
+ Black Oxford Blazer; Target – $25 ($35 – 30% off – here)
+ Striped Tee; Target – $8 ($12 – 33% off – here)
+ Printed Dress; Target – $8.50 ($28 – 70% off – here)
+ Kadence Wedge Ankle Boot – Chestnut; Target – $25 ($35 – $5 off coupon + $5 gift card – here)
+ Mossimo Kodi Ankle Boots – Black; Target – $25 ($35 – 30% off – here)
+ Merona Premium Opaque Tights – Dark Red; Target – $10 (regular price – here)
+ Mossimo Fit and Flare Dress; Target $17.50 ($25 – 30% off – here) -> ordered online and haven’t received this yet, but I think I am going to like it, so including it here
+ Houndstooth Oxford Blazer; Target – $14.50 ($35 – $10.50 (30% off at my local store) – $10 giftcard – here)
+ Merona Burgundy/Navy Striped Tee; Target – $7 ($12 – on sale in stores – here)
+ Striped Silk Scarf; Ann Taylor – $8 (thrifted)

Goal: $250
Total Spent: $204
Amount Under/Over: +$46 = $250-$204
Carryover: $ –
Total Saved: $125 = $329 (if not on sale) – $204
Item Count: 14

Lots and lots of items, I feel like. It is pretty clear what I like upon viewing this post: classic, clean looks and lots of black, white, navy, and dark red. In all, not bad for the first budgeting month, plus I already wore 3 items from this list on Monday. Now onto January’s money!

Linking up with Franish’s Budgeting Bloggers!

What I Wish I Wore, Vol. 7 – Here’s to 2014!

Plaided Stripes
*So a feature that I am going to run on Wednesdays (possibly along with a daily outfit post) is called “What I Wish I Wore Wednesday.” I’ll be piecing together an outfit on Polyvore (which I have never used before blogging, but I really like it) with all Target items to show you what I wish I was wearing and just how easy it is to look cute on a budget.

Cheers to 2014! May you be full of an awesome wedding (April 2014), two awesome vacations, fun blog posts, and 365 days of love and laughter.

I’m in a little bit of recovery mode today from attending two New Year’s parties last night, but I am excited to have another day off from work and another day to hang out with The Fiance. This is what I wish I was wearing, as I run some errands, possibly do some online shopping (new month, new budget) and just chillax (that’s a recognized word now, right). The plaid in this jacket echos this week’s post on being plaid-tastic, and I think it works with the black and white in the striped shirts. The red pants add a pop of color and some interest, while the black boots and necklace keep it grounded.

Happy 2014, friends!