Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Spending Recap

Since I will be tracking my spending this year, I decided to link up with the Budgeting Bloggers over at Franziska's blog Franish and do a summary of my monthly spending. I didn't get a single item on my Targeted Purchase List and that isn't even the worst of it. I am going to admit two big things today:

1) I did some serious spending in December in Las Vegas and during the sales when I realized I had committed to publishing my spending habits for 2013.  I bought jeans, cashmere, a reusable bag tote, a pair of Manolo Blahnik dress shoes, a metallic clutch, and jewelry for a wedding I am attending in October because I didn't want it to count against my budget this year.  I know.

2) Having to note and publish my expenses here makes me cringe and I've caught myself putting things back on the rack.  I can't wait to share my deals with each of you, but the thought of telling anyone I spent $85 on a skirt, literally put me in a bad mood and I ended up leaving the store - without buying the skirt!

Now for my spending:
1) Blue Nile Gold Mini Hoop Earrings: $90 - $25 promo email & free ship + no tax = $65
2) Old Navy Striped Dress: Orange/Blue & Green/White $8 x 2 = $16
3) Legale Fleece Lined Tights: $7 x 2 = $14 - Nordstrom GC ($200) = $0 ($186 GC remains)
4) J Crew Thin Hand Enameled Gold Bangle: (Ivory/Gold) $9.99 - 40% in-store promo = $6
5) Black Balenciaga Pants: $45 at Buffalo Exch - Store credit ($67)=$0 ($22 SC remains)
6) The Pilates Barre Grip Socks: $10 + tax = $11

Total = $98.00

Update: I bought a pair of $10 grip socks at the end of the month. Total is now updated.
I am surprised that I came in under $100 this month, but I think that it's because I overspent in December and I was ashamed to buy anything too pricey right off the bat in January. Except for the pants. I probably would have bought those even if I didn't have the store credit.

How did your budget do in January?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Legale Fleece Lined Tights

A few weeks ago, Kimmie at Blue Paper Lanterns wore these leggings and someone in the comments asked if these were her fleece-lined tights.  I was all over that! And when I found out that these are sold for only $7 at Nordstrom Rack, I headed over there immediately with my shiny birthday gift card.
Sweater: Banana Republic
Skirt: T by Alexander Wang; Fleece Lined Tights: Legale
Tote: Calvin Klein

Boots: MIA
Everything else is old, but these are definitely my new favorite tights! I've been warned that these will eventually pill, but I bought two pairs so hopefully I can make them last.  Today I am linking up with the girls of Look What I Got at The Tiny Heart and the Penniless Socialite.

What other warm and fuzzy secrets are you keeping? Spill them!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Screen Actor's Guild Awards Red Carpet Round-Up

The SAG Awards were held in last night and I swear that the red carpet must have lasted longer than the show itself.  I usually love Giuliana Rancic and the E! Red Carpet team, but last night was just a bit painful to watch.  There were multiple times that I felt like screaming at the TV, "The show is about the ACTORS, G! Not about your rainmaking dance moves and off-pitch singing!"  Ok, I had to get that off my chest, now on to the fabulous dresses.  Just like red was the color of the Golden Globes, navy blue was the color of the SAG Awards.  My pick for best dressed is Marion Cotillard in Christian Dior Haute Couture (photo above), but I also loved:

Amanda Seyfried in navy Zac Posen. She really let her dress and her figure shine wearing only minimal jewelry.

I love Sofia Vergara and I rarely feature her in my red carpet round-ups because I feel like she usually wears the exact same dress in a different color. You know the one, with the cleavage and the mermaid train, sometimes with sequins everywhere? I feel like I finally saw something different from her in this Donna Karan Atelier white lame gown.  She looked so romantic and chic.
Jessica Chastain wowed in red Alexander McQueen.  I don't usually like redheads in red, but she made it look fabulous. She definitely stepped up her game from the Golden Globes.

Claire Danes made up for looking like this a month after giving birth by assuring us all that she was wearing Spanx during her acceptance speech. Her sleek navy sheath is by Givenchy.

I was dissapointed that there was no red carpet walk for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, but she looked terrific in gold Oscar De La Renta.

Jennifer Lawrence also went the navy blue route in Christian Dior Haute Couture.  She, too, looked lovely and she nailed the red lip.

My favorite couples were Frieda Pinto in Roland Mouret and Dev Patel and perennial favorites of mine, Naomi Watts in Marchesa and Liev Schrieber.

Most everyone played it very safe and looked very pretty with the notable exceptions of Morena Baccarin in Basil Soda (someone on twitter said: "What is her stylist's major malfunction?!?" and I have to agree with them) and Rose Byrne who showed up in this floral Valentino. However, nothing stood out like Sigourney Weaver in Lanvin. Really?

To end on a good note, here is the always delectable Bradley Cooper in his favorite (and mine!) formalwear, Tom Ford.

Who were your picks for best and worst dressed?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Red Carpet Wine Club

I've mentioned before that I have a fabulous wine club.  It started two years ago when the husband of one of our friends couldn't think of a Christmas present and called a few of us to ask if he bought her a wine club book and the wines for the first month, would we keep it going? Little did we know back then, that we would be kicking off our THIRD year this month.  In addition, one of our favorite friends always celebrates our birthdays and events and her birthday is coming up next week.  We wanted to throw her a surprise birthday party and knew it was our only chance to pull it off.  She loves getting dressed up so I chose a red carpet theme for this month. We even had swag bags with jewelry and parting gifts!
Dress: JS Collection
Tiara: Sam Moon; Earrings: unknown, old
Bracelet: Cara Couture via Ideeli (invite link)
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik Prisca (very old)
We rotate hosting duties and the hostess invites the 6-8 core members and anyone else she wants.  We've added a few core members from the original 5 or so, but for the most part, it's hard to commit to a once a month club with children, work, and other responsibilities.  Or, it could be that we scare all our other guests away, but we have such an amazing time together.
The top photo is of me and the birthday girl.  We bought her a big, BIG tiara and a sash and the rest of us wore ours, too. This photo below is of everyone who attended last night.
Jewelry Pouches and Gift Bags: c/o Neiman Marcus (via our friend Brenda)
 Vintage Jewelry: courtesy of our friend, Mary
DIY Water Bottles/Advil: Idea from my friend Paige (couldn’t attend)
I really believe that you need to surround yourself with people who lift you up and I am so lucky because I have the most wonderful friends! I am always amazed that these beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, and unbelievable women (and Ace!) want to be friends with me.

Happy Friday! Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Winter Uniform Part II

Besides my leggings and chambray shirt (seen here,) this is my other Winter Uniform.  I found these jeans last month at Neiman Marcus Last Call before my trip to Vegas, they were marked down to $55 and they were an additional 50% off, for a total of $27.50!  I wore them in Vegas, for New Year's Eve, to go to the movies with my sister, pretty much everywhere.  As you saw in the previous light colored jeans post, I don't care what the season is. :)
Sweater: Gap (old); Tank: Yummie Tummie
Denim: JBrand Jeans
Earrings: Macy’s (old); Necklace: Swarovski Angelic Pendant
Bracelets: Blue Nile, eBay, DIY
Purse: Chloe Paddington (ca. 2005)
Shoes: Sam Edelman Inari
Here is a photo of me and my sisters from New Year's Eve at our house. I wore this same outfit then.
Today I am linking up with the girls of Look What I Got: Sharon at The Tiny Heart and Tara at The Penniless Socialite.  Check everyone out on their pages!
 What items do you wear out of season?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Warm Winter: Stripes & Boots

We had a fantastic weekend.  The weather was great (in the high 60's) and my husband and I got to spend lots of time together.  We celebrated my sister-in-law's birthday Friday (see us here) and then we had an early movie date to see Zero Dark Thirty on Saturday.  We ended the weekend with breakfast in bed and a lazy Sunday.  I wore this to the movies on Saturday.
Dress: Old Navy (on sale $8); Sweater: Calvin Klein (old)
Sunglasses: Cynthia Rowley

Necklace: Street Vendor in Cabo (2011)
Earrings: Flea Market find
Purse: Vintage

Cuff: So Good Jewelry (2011)

This sweater is so old and you can tell it's seriously pilling, but I love it so much and I can't get rid of it.  I've tried replacing it before, but I haven't found anything I like as much as this oversized and comfy sweater.  I always end up giving the replacements away or just donating them.

How do you go about replacing beloved items that are not available anymore?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Conversations With Mr. Fantastic: What We Need

When I was thinking up a good (and anonymous) name for my husband for this blog, the frontrunners were Mr. Spock and Mr. Fantastic. Both of us have jobs that would probably cast a sideways glance at something like this style blog, so I went the very anonymous route. I chose Mr. Fantastic because I truly believed that if I referred to him as Mr. Spock everyone would immediately know who we were.
That said, my husband makes me laugh all the time.  He tries to reign in my creative chaos with logic and I push his comfort boundaries with my wild imagination.  This was our conversation in the bathroom a few weeks ago (during our two winter days):

Me: You know what would be great? Heated tiles and towel warmers in our bathroom.  That way I won't be cold when I get out of the shower.

Mr. Fantastic (with this expression):
"Baby, we live in Texas! We don't need heated tiles and towel racks.  You know what we do need? -"

I interrupt him and exclaim: Yes! I just told you what we need!

He stares at me incredulously and we both dissolve in a fit of laughter.
End Scene.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Birthday Rock Party: Faux Leather & Mixed Metals

Mr. Fantastic's sister is having a birthday tomorrow, and we kicked off her celebration last night at a local sports bar & pub.  Our friend, the Music Man and his Journey cover band were sharing the stage with a Def Leppard cover band and you can bet we were all over it!  These photos are really dark because for one we were determined to use our new lens without a flash, and number two, we didn't get around to taking photos until AFTER the show as we were heading home.

Top: Cynthia Rowley; Vest: Elizabeth & James
Faux Leather Leggings: Zara

All Rose Gold Jewelry: BaubleBar; Clutch: Jimmy Choo

Shoes: B Brian Atwood
I wore my faux leather pants by Zara to the show, but I recently received a pair of the Paige Paloma leggings in Phantom and I'm wondering if the grey leather would have looked better with this outfit.
I finally asked my sister-in-law (I actually refer to her as my sister IRL or my sissy on FB and other social media) if she was okay with me using photos that show her face and she laughed and said, "You have a blog?! How cool! Sure, you can post photos of me." So here she is, the birthday girl with me and the Music Man. Isn't she gorgeous? Believe it or not, she is even more beautiful on the inside than the outside. I lurve her.

The Music Man at Work
Do you like cover bands? Which are your favorite? I would LOVE to have a Bon Jovi cover band close by!