Saturday, November 30, 2013

November Spending

This month was not too crazy and I was very happy that I was able to cross another item off my Targeted Purchase List for this year. 

This months purchases were:
Banana Republic Flared Trench Coat: $225 - 40% Coupon and 25% Mailing List = $102
Kendra Scott Eliza Cuff: Final Sale = $35
Kendra Scott Elle Earrings: $52

Total November Spending = $189.00

I've been looking for a trench coat to replace my Vertigo one that I've had for a couple of years. I've loved my vertigo coat, last seen here, because it's lightweight and waterproof plus I love the color and feel. Unfortunately, I noticed since last year that it had a small tear in an area that could not be fixed and I had also accidentally shut my car door on it and it had left a stain that while I minimized, I could never remove.  This coat by Banana Republic has excellent reviews and I tried it on in store at the local mall.  However, I really didn't want to spend $225 and it seemed that anytime I had a 40% off coupon the petite size was never available and I didn't want to buy it in Navy. I was finally able to find it during a 40% sale AND I cheated by creating another email account and taking advantage of the 25% stackable coupon you get when you sign up for email. All in all, I was able to find it for $101.50 which I rounded up to $102 and I was able to cross item #21 off my Targeted Shopping List.

The earrings and cuff I purchased to wear to our annual charity ball. I had a hard time finding a dress that fit me and my friend Lisa sent me a few of hers. I loved a leopard print David Meister dress that she sent over and decided to wear my blue Kendra Scott Iggy Feather Necklace with it.  Since Kendra Scott was kind enough to donate a necklace and earring set for the silent auction, I swung by to pick it up and found the Eliza cuff on final sale in cobalt and the Elle earrings to wear as well.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October Spending

I am posting this up way late, but I wanted to make sure I posted the last of my spending recaps, so that I can look back and see what would be a reasonable monthly budget going forward. November-December will be up shortly as well to end the yearly spending recap.

My purchases were:

1) Banana Republic Striped Ponte Dress: $40 - eBay
2) JCrew Factory Navy Sweater: $50 - Factory 50% Sale = $25
3) Christian Louboutin Cork No Prive: $145 - 30% Summer Sale = $101.50

Total October Spending = $166.50

This month, I spent alot of money very early when I bought the Christian Louboutin cork shoes before my brother-in-law's wedding.  Even though I bought them at a consignment store, $100 is still alot.  The fact that we traveled not only with our boys, but also with all my in-laws really curbed any intention we may have had of shopping while we were in California.  I bought the sweater while I was out shopping with friends one weekend at the outlets in Allen and the dress I ordered on eBay.

I hope you all stayed on track!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Black & White Acai

The last color in the Pantone Inspired Fall Color Challenge is Acai, which is really just purple. I think they choose really trendy names and you can't get more trendy than acai. Everyone is on the acai diet plan, except for me because I hate diets and I love food. Also, I've worn this dress three times this week. I can't help it, I really do love it.
Dress: Banana Republic; Cashmere Hoodie: Vince; Faux Fur Vest: Banana Republic (current)
Handbag: Rebecca Minkoff Amour (gift from Mr. Fantastic last year)
Bangles: Blue Nile (exact)
Boots: Frye Jane Stitch 14L (on sale under $200)
A friend hosted a wine night at her house this week and since the weather is turning chilly, I wore this dress with a cashmere hoodie and my faux fur vest for warmth.  One of the girls pointed out that I could wear this dress for Halloween and dress as a jailbird or the Hamburglar! LOL!  I really liked the way this looked and I wore it again to pick up my husband from the airport after he was gone for a week. I had very favorable results. :)

literate & stylish

Link up your acai looks or just come look at everyone's outfits with Marissa of The Modern Austen and Heidi of Literately Stylish here.

How often do you wear favorite pieces?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Not Quite Koi

Today is the third day of the Pantone Fall Color Challenge with Heidi at Literately Stylish and Marissa at The Modern Austen and I failed quite convincingly.  Koi is more of a subdued orange, almost a washed out color, but I  only have a few orange pieces and I don't think any of them can be called subdued.  Instead, I choose this bright orange sweater and wore it over my new Banana Republic striped dress.
Sweater: LOFT (last year); Dress: Banana Republic (on sale)
Earrings: Old Navy (really old); Necklace: Vintage
Shoes: Tommy Hilfiger (about 5 or 6 years old)
I love this dress. I bought it on eBay from this vendor and I bought it because I loved my navy blue striped dress from last year and I wanted one with a v-neck as well. I love the fit of the ponte material, although I probably will not wear it this way again.  I initially wanted to wear black wedges, but that is how I wore this color combo last year and I wanted to add some color.  This is one of those outfits that I wouldn't have posted if not for this challege because I'm not sure I liked the final outcome.  :(
literate & stylish

If you are also wearing your Koi gear today, join the link-party here!

Do you have those days?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Livin' On a Prayer

This is going to really age me since I know most bloggers were born in the 90's, but I've been wanting to see Bon Jovi in concert since 1993.  Of course, he never toured anywhere close to where I lived and in fact, the nearest he came was 4 hours away in 1993 and I couldn't go see him. So you can imagine how excited I was when Mr. Fantastic sprung for tickets to his show last week!
Cozy Sweater: DKNY; Top: Zero; Leather Leggings: c/o Paige Premium Denim (Buy on Sale)
Purse: Coach (very old); Wrap Bracelet: T+J Designs (old); Bead Bracelet: eBay
Boots: MIA (I love these current ones and they are under $65)
I have to say that for someone who is 51(!), Bon Jovi puts on a heck of a show. It was so high energy and the accoustic portion made me a bit (okay, a lot!) emotional. But the funniest thing happened with our kids. I was getting ready the night of the show and I told the oldest, "I think you might finally get your wish tonight." He looked at me and asked, "How so?" I replied, "Jon might see me in the crowd and take my hand so we can run away together!"  The following morning he came into the kitchen as I was making coffee and exclaimed, "Thank God you're still here! I need my band uniform washed and a refill on my prescription!"  While my friends mostly focused on the belief that he obviously lurves me, I focused on the fact that he thought I actually had a chance of running away with my teenage dream!
Bon Jovi performs Born To Be My Baby
Isn't he FANTASTIC!?! Well, he is to me! :) (Can you see how thrilled I was to be there!?!)
My husband and I have been fortunate to have some incredible experiences, but this was definitely one for the highlight reel. I loved it!  I took a short (50 second) video of the very start of Livin On a Prayer. It was really awesome to hear the entire arena singing along with him! I hope you enjoy it.

Today, I am linking up with Marissa from The Modern Austen and Heidi of LiteratelyStylish for their Pantone Inspired Fall Challenge. Today's color is Turbulence and these leather leggings from Paige are perfect for today's challenge. I hope to participate again this week! If you wore a Turbulent outfit today, join here!

The Modern Austen
What are your favorite bands? If old bands, are they still together?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cork it, Girl! The Vineyard Wedding

I've been talking about this vineyard wedding for well over a year. So much, that friends got to the point where they cut me off saying, "You STILL haven't gotten to this California wedding?!?" It finally happened last weekend and everything was beautiful! I already shared the story of how I came to own this dress in my September Spending Recap, but let me tell you that I LOVE this dress! The best compliment came, as always, from my husband, who sneaked me off during the dances. We must have been making out quite passionately because we got caught by another guest who asked, "Got a good snog in, did 'ya?" and we nearly died of mortification (and laughter!) But seriously, a few days later I was gushing to my husband about how beautiful the bride looked and he turned to me and said, "I have no idea what she wore because I could not take my eyes off you!" So yeah, this is my new favorite dress and I wish I could wear it all the time!
Dress: Badgley Mischka (similar); Bracelet: Fossil (current style)
Earrings: White House | Black Market (old); Monogram Necklace: c/o Jane Basch
Purse: Magid c/o (old); Cork Bangles: Kate Spade; Gold Bangle: Kendra Scott
Heels: Christian Louboutin Cork No Prive
These shoes almost didn't happen. Last year I asked what accessories to wear to this wedding and multiple people advised me to wear cork accessories. Since I already had the clutch (last seen here) and the cork bangles (seen here) I figured I was all set with a pair of gold evening shoes. I did want to find some cork flats for visiting some of the vineyards in the area, but I really couldn't find what I liked and the ones I did like, were inevitably over $150. I couldn't justify spending $150 or more on flats! Then a couple of days after I bought the dress, I visited one of my favorite consignment shops, Clothes Circuit, hoping to find a nice wrap because the Napa evenings are supposed to be cooler. I didn't find a wrap, but I found these amazing cork No Prive shoes in their sale area. They were $145 and the store was running a 30% sale on summer items. So these babies came to Napa with me for just over $100! One of my friends said that finds like these are proof that God loves us. I do believe I may be one of his favorites! Just look at this guy, Fantastic indeed.
Mr. Fantastic is wearing a Vera Wang Black Tuxedo from Men's Wearhouse
Mr. Fantastic was the co-Best Man (with his other brother) and this is literally the only photo we managed to get during the wedding of the two of us together. How lucky am I that I married this one?

What have you worn or what would you wear to a vineyard wedding?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rehearsal Dinner Blues

I am not tagging this post as a travel post even though the rehearsal dinner took place in Calistoga, too.  We were so busy entertaining the kids and keeping them out of trouble that neither Mr. Fantastic nor I had a chance to wander and get any photos of the gorgeous venue. The rehearsal dinner was held at the Calistoga Inn Restaurant and Brewery and Mr. Fantastic was in heaven because they had the Oktoberfest beer on tap. I was thrilled because Sangiovese wines are one of my favorite varietals and the family served a 2009 Sangiovese that was sourced locally from the family-owned Benessere Vineyards down the street in St. Helena.
Dress: Banana Republic Monogram; Shawl: Marc Jacobs for Target + Neiman Marcus
I bought everything I wore to the rehearsal dinner at the end of last year because I didn't want the bigger ticket items (clutch and shoes) to go on my budget this year - I know, I should be embarrassed. However, I am really proud of the dress purchase.  I blogged it last year in this post, because I found it at Banana Republic for $25 and then all final sale items were an additional 30% off. I've worn it twice before for other functions and I would say I've gotten my money's worth from it.
Earrings: c/o BaubleBar 2012
Clutch: Yves Saint Laurent; Bracelets: Banana Republic & Nordstrom Rack
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
I honestly don't know how other bloggers do it to take photos wherever they are.  I love being a tourist because it really disguises the whole "I am taking alot of photos of myself - for no good reason!" idea for me.  Obviously, it would have been weird and downright rude to be seen taking multiple photos of me, my purse, my shoes, my jewelry at someone else's rehearsal dinner.  Instead we waited until we got back to our rental house and everyone was getting dressed for bed to sneak out to the balcony in the back and take some quick photos for the blog.

How do you take photos at someone else's event without seeming odd? What do you think when you see someone crouching down to take a photo of their spouse's shoes? Isn't it so weird?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Quick Trip To Wine Country

We attended a family wedding in Napa Valley this past weekend. The groom is my husband's brother and his bride is from California and wanted to show us the wine country in her neck of the woods.  Unlike other destination weddings we've attended in the past, this one was smack in the middle of not only school, but most importantly marching season!  While Mr. Fantastic and I would have LOVED to spend a full week out there getting to know the area, we couldn't leave until Thursday afterschool and we had to be back Sunday night so that our oldest would be allowed to march during band competitions this week and next.  Since both my husband and the kids were in the wedding, that left us with one afternoon to explore the Calistoga area last Friday.  It was AMAZING!
Top: Lapis; Cardigan: Trina Turk (similar in fun color); Denim: JBrand Coated Skinny Jeans
Earrings: c/o Lavishy; Monogram Necklace: c/o Jane Basch
Bracelet: Lauren Ralph Lauren; Bangles: Banana Republic & Kendra Scott
Wine & Bread Tote by Rebecca Minkoff (several seasons ago)
Glitter Flats: Old Navy
Our group included my husband's parents, my sister-in-law, four grandkids and us. Many vineyards don't allow children and some don't even allow anyone under 21, so it really limited our choices.  The bride had suggested we visit Safari West with the kids, but they required reservations and the tour was 3-4 hours long. We simply didn't have that kind of time after the rehearsal but before the rehearsal dinner.  Instead we found the Castello di Amorosa, which while very much a tourist trap, really is quite beautiful and their wines were delicious. We are lucky that our kids are older and they were content to wander around the petting zoo and the grounds with their grandparents while Mr. Fantastic and I took the only grandson over 21 to the wine tasting rooms. My poor sister-in-law couldn't join us because her daughter is too young to be on her own.  My husband and I took advantage of the little privacy we stole away and snuck into a confessional in the chapel, but were caught making out. I will tell you that us making out seemed like the theme for this weekend.
Mr. Fantastic and I are busted.
The grandparents, my husband's sister and the kids. Look at those grounds!!
The vines were heavy with grapes as this was harvest weekend.
Okay, we did sneak a trip to another vineyard under the guise of picking up more beer, but we only ducked in to buy wine and immediately went back to our rental house! ;)

Have you ever visited Napa Valley? What are your favorite vineyards? What kind of wine do you like?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The New Big Tex at State Fair of Texas

If everything falls according to plan, we should be heading back to Texas today! In the meantime, this is my last scheduled post while I am out of town.  Last weekend, we were invited to spend the day with friends at the State Fair of Texas.  I was really sad last year when Big Tex burned down after an electrical fire.  I don't think I really like the "work" he had done in the last year.  One of my friends said that the new Big Tex reminds her of Hank Hill's dad on King of the Hill, who had his shins blown off in World War II. I don't know if you can tell, but Big Tex looks very disproportionate now.
Meeting up with friends before we headed to the fair.
Our oldest tries to stuff his little brother in the trunk of a Kia just as dad walks away at the Car Show
Enough about poor Big Tex, let's talk about the FOOD! I love, Love, LOVE going to the State Fair because of the food.  Mr. Fantastic usually gets a turkey leg and the boys get some corny dogs. I always go for the corn on the cobs because they almost drip with butter and who doesn't love drippy butter? I didn't get to eat a red velvet funnel cake this year, but I did sneak in some fried margarita! How's that for Fat Kid Heaven?
Have you ever visited the State Fair of Texas? Do you have an annual fair in your area? Tell me!
**This is a scheduled post.**

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Little Black Dress Again

I am traveling to a family wedding this week.  However, last month Mr. Fantastic and I were invited to attend a cocktail charity event here in town and I took advantage to finally wear this little black dress that I had been wanting to wear for a while.  Looking at this and the lavender dress from this post, I realize that I do not look very good in dresses that sit right at the waist and hit right below the knee.  Live & learn, right? Now I know that 50s style dresses with the tiny waist and full skirt are not exactly my cup of tea.
Dress: R&M Richards (very old, bought by my mom) I love this winter option!
Earrings: c/o Kendra Scott and Dallas Tidbits last year (I love these and THESE!)
Clutch: Cole Haan (current version); Pink Bangle: JCrew; Gold Bangles: Kendra Scott
Shoes: Badgley Mischka Kiwi (current)
I love these fun shoes! The last time I wore them on the blog was over a year ago for our Spider-Chuck's wedding seen in this post. But I've worn them a few other times to spice up boring outfits and while I think I could have chosen a better dress, I love the shoes and other accessories!

How do you spice up your little black dress?
** This is a scheduled post**