Sunday, March 31, 2013

March Spending Recap

This month was pretty tame as far as spending goes for several reasons: 1) No Time/We spent Spring Break out of town and swamped, then had my sister here and were swamped, then had a funeral, and then travel for the Easter holiday. 2) No Car/I took my old car and gave it to my sister during Spring Break and that left me and my husband sharing a car, so much less time to go shopping. 3) LuckyFABB/I know I am going to spend money this week while I am out in California and was trying not to overdo it.  In fact, two of my items were bought during Spring Break because my Rusk Heat Serum spilled all over the clothes in my suitcase and there was no getting it off of them.  I ended up buying a maxi dress to wear to a cookout and the Prabal Gurung Sweater that was 70% off in my hometown where no one really cares about designers.  All in all, I bought:

1) Faux Fur Stole - on eBay (I was going to wear this with a blue dress to the wedding last week, but the dress didn't work out.) = $22
2) JCrew Yellow Enamel Bangle and Free People Green enamel bangle - I found both of these in the clearance jewelry bin at the Goodwill store for $0.50 each! = $1
3) Max Studio Maxi Dress - Marshall's Clearance (Mine is Navy and Cream stripes, but I couldn't find a photo, it's this dress, but not in a solid print.) = $27
4) Prabal Gurung x Target Sweater - Target Clearance $8.99 + tax = $10
5) Converse Sneakers - Nordtrom Rack ($45 - GC) = $0

Total = $60

The sneakers left me with a remaining balance of $73 on my Nordstrom Gift Card.  Again I was not able to visit Buffalo Exchange this month, so I will carry my $22 Store Credit into April as well.

It may seem that I did very well this month, but next month's spending recap will be ridiculous!

How did everyone else do? Link up with Fran and the Budgeting Bloggers this month! I hope everyone who observes the holiday had a wonderful and Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

5Days, 5Ways: Red Maxi Dress

I love maxi dresses. In the spring and summer, they are my go to staple and when I heard about the 5 Days, 5 Ways Challenge that Fran and Whitney were hosting, I knew that I wanted to show my favorite dress! I bought this Max Studio maxi dress last summer for $40 and while I've only worn it three other times on the blog, I wear it alot IRL.  I am suffering from an ear infection and wore this yesterday when I went to see the doctor. The weather is cool, but because I was running a fever, a sweater was necessary.
Maxi Dress: Max Studio; Sweater: Clockhouse Elements
Belt: Michael Kors
Necklace: BaubleBar (old)
Bracelets: Old Navy; Blue Nile; Fossil
Purse: Chloe
Shoes: Sam Edelman
My favorite thing about dresses is that you can easily change the look of a dress with your accessories, although if I am honest, the dress itself looks the same.  These are the other ways I've worn this dress. The last look, will be featured on my blog next week while I am out of town to attend the LuckyFABB conference in Los Angeles.
Look One; Look Two; Look Three; Today; Coming Next Week
Check out how everyone else styles their dresses with Fran at Franish and Whitney at Along the Lines of Style!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New Look

Did you notice the new and improved look of the blog that occured yesterday? I'd been wanting a change and definitely some customization, but I don't know how to use technology at all so I'd stuck to the Simple Blogger Template since I started blogging in 2011.  Last year, I considered a blog overhaul and I found a couple of great blog designers in the process.  The pricing seemed steep for most designs, especially any that involved any custom work, but I had wanted to have a new look for my first year "blog-iversary" so I was willing to shell out some cash.

Then, I got two back to back speeding tickets right as I was about to agree to a $400 price tag and together the tickets were nearly equal to that amount. So I held off on the blog redesign and just paid off my tickets as I sat tight while on deferred adjudication through the end of the year.  I still wanted a new look, I was just going to have to figure out how to do it for less.
Early this year, Kimmie of Blue Paper Lanterns got a new blog look and I asked her who had done her design and if they were cheap because I had a feeling that she wouldn't shell out so much money for her blog.  It turns out that she did it herself! So I begged and groveled (I might have cried, but I'm sure I only did that once twice!)  I finally wore her down and we agreed on a price and now here we are.  I LOVE my new blog design! My favorite things are the singed header-makes it look like it really was on fire- and the flame social media icons. I think overall, the look is much cleaner and more streamlined.
In addition to my blog redesign, I ordered new business cards just in time for LuckyFABB. Now that my blog looks fantastic and I have new and sleek business cards, I can't wait to fly out to LA next week. We also overhauled my blogroll so that they update by most recent post instead of alphabetically as I had it before.  Go check it out, I added several new blogs that I've discovered in the past couple of months!

Thank You, Kimmie and Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

5Days, 5Ways: Zara Faux Leather Pants

Fran at Franish and Whitney at Along The Lines of Style are hosting a link-up party this week for those interested in re-wearing our clothes over and over again.  I missed yesterday's link up for tops, but I would just have been overwhelmed trying to find one top that I've worn in multiple ways because I have a tendency to wear my tops until holes literally prevent me from going out in public.  Today's prompt was pants and I was thrilled when I realized that I've worn these $15 Zara faux leather pants in 5 different ways! (It was actually six, I didn't include this outfit in this collage because the photos are dark and sad.) Let's get started:
Outfit Details Here
I wore this to the Opening of Y& I Boutique in the West Village last summer. I received this tank top as a gift during a cocktail reception at Kelly Wearstler in LA last spring during LuckyFABB and didn't realize that the yellow print would wear off. You will see it again later, but it won't have the yellow pattern again. :(
Outfit Details Here
I wore these pants to brunch with Morgan and another friend one time and I they gave me the definite side-eye when I showed up to brunch in faux leather pants. I still loved this look and I love the hot pink with black.  I'll have to bring that back this year.
Outfit Details Here
This outfit made an appearance at a lunch with my caterer to discuss the menu and budget for our annual charity ball. The reaction was very different from brunch, but then again, my caterer is very fashion forward herself and all she cared about was were I got them and could she get them.
Outfit Details Here
During the winter, I wore these pants, with the same Kelly Wearstler tank, but I added a cashmere hoodie and booties to keep me warm. I wore this to a happy hour my husband hosted for his employees last quarter. 
Outfit Details Here
Finally, this is one of my favorite looks. I wore this last fall to wine club with my friends. I loved this black and white and red look and it is one that I try to recreate because I always receive compliments when I wear this color scheme.
What is your favorite look? What pair of pants do you wear over and over again and how do you make them fresh?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Wedding

I had a family funeral last week and to be honest, the surrounding hoopla around the death in our family affected me much more deeply than I expected it would. I apologize for the absence, but my blog was in the far back of my mind until now that we are back.  Mr. Fantastic and I attended the wedding of our dear friends yesterday and I was glad that the weather was as gloomy as I felt for several reasons.
Dress: Suzy Chin for Maggie Boutique (old)
Fur Stole: Neiman Marcus (borrowed)
Necklace & Earrings:  Sam Moon (old)
Cork Bangles: Kate Spade; Gold Bangle: Kendra Scott
Clutch: Jimmy Choo Tulita
Shoes: Christian Louboutin Scissor Girl
I had originally planned to wear a navy Banana Republic dress (that I bought back in this post) and I took a page from Jean's Oscars outfit and ordered a faux fur shrug so that I could wear it with my dress because the forecast called for a chilly morning.  Unfortunately, the dress didn't fit and I had to change dresses at the last minute.  Since it was much colder than we anticipated, I borrowed this fur stole from the fabulous Alaska, who is both my hairdresser and my uncle and let's me roam in his closet!
Cufflinks: Etsy (this vendor)
I'd given my husband these cork cufflinks earlier this year for Valentine's Day.  Veuve-Clicquot Ponsardin was the champagne we toasted with the night we got engaged, and we were able to find one bottle in the Dominican Republic that we toasted at our wedding with and we always find a bottle to share on our anniversaries. In a nod the local wine cellar where the reception was held, he wore these cufflinks and I wore my cork bangles (last seen in this post).

Do you have a go-to outfit for afternoon weddings? What does it consist of?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Mr. Fantastic and I celebrated by attending the Parade on Greenville Ave. and wearing green. We wore LOTS of green.
I know I've said it before, but I am truly fortunate because I have the most AMAZING group of friends. This year, I found these shirts at Margaritaville during our trip to Las Vegas in December.  They were on sale for $13, so I bought them for my sisters and a couple of friends. Then someone (it may have been me) decided that the only thing that would be more awesome than wearing matching shirts would be to wear tutus. THEN, Paige said, "I have a friend who can make our tutus!" and when we went to buy the tulle for them, he said, "Do you want me to make bloomers for them? I can do that!" and it progressed to a three-colored ball of tulle!
But, wait there is more! because then my sister, said, "What about tights? Or fishnets?" and when I found shamrock stockings, we couldn't pass them up, just like we couldn't leave Target without over the knee socks that Gloria somehow misplaced (her boyfriend wore them with HIS shorts!) or Party City without feather boas.  And can you believe everyone showed up with stickers and shamrock shades and donuts at 6AM!?!?
Finally, my awesome husband who piled all of us into the car to get down there and then back again after taking us to lunch and drinks AFTER it was all over!  Incidentally, I broke my kit lens and no one but me and him know how to use the manual lens so the only photos of us on our camera are all blurry, and this one above is the least blurry of them.  The image below was taken by our friend, Paige when we weren't paying attention.  He is such a good sport about my crazy and hare-brained ideas!
Did YOU wear green? Drink green beer? Celebrate?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five Things

Caroline over at Caroline's Day tagged me in her Five Things post and since I don't really have a FAQ section, I thought it would be nice to make up stuff to share with you all!
Follow on Bloglovin
1) I am really sad that Google is getting rid Google Reader effective July 1st. Back when they bought my favorite online photo editing tool, Picnik they said it wouldn't be shut down and then when they saw that people were not using their Google Photo tool, they shut Picnik down.  Now that the push for Google + is on the rise, bye-bye Google Reader.  You can use Google Take-Out to export all your subscription information and for those of you on Bloglovin', you can transfer all your Google Reader subscriptions here.  If you are a reader or even if you are new to my blog, but like it and want to follow me, you can follow me on bloglovin by clicking the link above.
2) I did NOT attend KU. Several of you asked because I seem am obsessed, but oddly, my husband did NOT attend KU either. His parents both attended KU and all of their kids attended colleges or universities with non-existent to non-interesting sports programs and everyone has adopted KU as their alma mater. When I joined the family, my father-in-law and my sister-in-law both made it a point to advise me that I was now a KU fan; my father-in-law by way of my second KU shirt (because he didn't know that my husband had already bought me one and indoctrinated me) and my sister-in-law with a subtle, but nervous "heart-to-heart" talk about what KU means to the family.  I am fully converted now!
3) I have a HUGE Mexican family. I am the oldest of SEVEN kids. We fight and get along most of the time. I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters and we had one brother that passed away when he was a baby. I am a true oldest child: bossy and perfectionist. I love to know what is happening and why and most of all, I can't live without a plan.  I want to know that I am prepared even if something isn't happening for a long time.  Hence, you get to read my angst about what I will wear and if I will be the heaviest at my brother-in-law's wedding in October. I already have the dress I will wear to our annual charity ball in November and I've already booked our family photo session for this year's Christmas card.
4) I own a ridiculous amount of clutches and shoes. Back when I was in college, I couldn't afford the Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag (I still can't) but I read an article that said if I wanted to buy designer bags (and I did!) to make the smaller pouches, clutches and wallets my "signature" item. So I did and it worked because in most cases, the smaller pieces are often less expensive than their larger counterparts.  I definitely have a hang up about shoes from my youth. My parents were farm-workers when they came to the US and growing up we usually only got one new pair of shoes each year.  I remember I had to choose between a pair of everyday sneakers or a nice pair of mary-janes and even though my mom would try to sneak me an extra pair of shoes sometimes, it was a rare occurrence. When I got my first job, I bought myself THREE pairs of shoes and I felt on top of the world! It has since become a problem.
5) St. Patrick's Day is my absolute favorite holiday. In Dallas, we have the Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade and my husband and I go every year.  We often drag all our friends and family who are in town to help us celebrate. I love St. Patrick's Day because: it is not a holiday that you have to spend making awkward small talk around the family dinner table; you don't have to stress about buying gifts or having gifts around for those who unexpectedly buy gifts for you; you can spend the whole day with your friends if you want; and you get to drink green beer or in my case, margaritas!

I want to know about all of you, so if you decide to be a joiner, like me, let me know and I will check out your responses, too!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Jayhawks and Family Bonding

We traveled to Waco to watch the Kansas Jayhawks take on the Baylor Bears this weekend.  My husband and his brother have a tradition of taking their dad to a KU game at least once a season.  This has been happening since I met them and it is always a great opportunity for them to spend time together just the men. A few years ago, there was a great family debate regarding if it was mean that the wives and children weren't invited.  At the time, I agreed with the guys.  I think because in my own family the guys always went away for beer and sports and we were never offended by this or felt left out.  However as my brother-in-law is now engaged and the kids are getting more and more anxious to root for the Jayhawks, they finally caved and invited all the family to a game.
My sister-in-law and her daughter and the boys and I were so excited to attend our first game.  Unfortunately, the Jayhawks who were ranked and the heavy favorites, lost to the unranked Bears.  We didn't realize this, but the guys had NEVER attended a game that KU lost in all the years they've been to the games.  So, clearly we are bad luck and will not be invited back.  We had a great time, but I will actually be happy to leave my husband to his tradition with his brother and his dad.  I truly believe that there is a bonding that occurs when the women and kids aren't around that simply can't occur when they are.  It's the same for women.  I have my own traditions with my mom and my sister that wouldn't be the same with men around.  I can certainly see expanding them to include my brother's wives, but not my brothers!

I think that my husband was relieved to have an excuse not to invite us back, but I think it's sad that there has to be an excuse.  I cannot comprehend WHY they need an excuse to go off together to have a great time.

How do you handle your partner's traditions? Are you upset when women aren't invited on guys trips?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Red Cowboy Happy Hour

It had been over a month since I'd been able to catch up with my sister in law and we used a charity happy hour as an excuse to go out and have a drink.  The happy hour was held in Dallas at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill. I know it's a country bar, but I didn't want to wear boots and jeans, again, so I went with a maxi dress and boots instead.
Cardigan: Banana Republic; Maxi Dress: Max Studio
Necklace: Gorjana Griffin c/o Y&I Boutique and Dallas Tidbits
Bracelet: Kenneth Cole New York (old)
Purse: Prabal Gurung for Target
Boots: Frye 14L Jane Stitch
Due to the number of color on the pattern of this clutch, I find myself reaching for it over and over again.  We had a great time and it was awesome to catch up and plan our outfits for our KU weekend.

Posting will be sporadic this week as we are taking our kids south for Spring Break.  We kick off with KU at Baylor and then head to see my family for my dad's birthday before heading home for my favorite holiday, St. Patrick's Day!

Do you have plans for Spring Break? Share!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Out With The Old, In With the New Olive & Cream

These are my new Paige jeans in Olive.  I'd seen a few bloggers wearing them and of course I wanted a pair.  I first saw them in the fall, but all the ones I liked cost over $150! If we had unlimited funds, it wouldn't matter, but we don't, so it does. I thought about buying them when my in-laws gave me my birthday gift card and they were "on sale" for $99, but I didn't want to blow half of my gift card on one item.  I was thrilled when I saw them at Nordstrom Rack last month for $49 so I headed right over and bought them!  They are also a full size smaller than I normally wear in jeans.  I probably need a few more sessions  of Pilates so they don't look so tight, but I was happy to have another article to motivate me back.  This is the longest I've ever stuck to an exercise routine and I know it sounds cliche, but I really do feel better!
Sweater: Gap (very old); Jeans: Paige Premium Denim
Necklace: Gift from my dad (more than 15 years ago!)
Bangles: Kendra Scott Lila (buy in rhodium) and J.Crew
Purse: Sam Edelman Armand Satchel (buy in coral)
Flats: BCBGMaxAzria (old)
In other news, I am in the midst of Spring Cleaning and you will never see this beloved cream sweater of mine again.  I've had this sweater for years and it is a staple for every season except summer. While I am sad to see it go, it has a couple of coffee stains on one sleeve that I can't remove except through photoshop and the pilling has reached a point that is no longer workable - there are holes now. :(  So I will add a great cream sweater to my list of items to replace this year.  I've also been on the lookout for months to replace this pair of leopard flats, but all the shoes I've been drawn to have not been in my size and the ones in my size I haven't liked.

What items are you cleaning out this season?