Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The trials and tribulations of personal finance


So today is the last day of the spending freeze. Although I had to break the rules a little (birthdays, bridesmaid stuff, etc.) and had a meltdown midway through, spending too much at Victoria's Secret, I thought I did really well avoiding the temptation of shopping for the past three months. But regardless of how well I did or didn't do, I still feel like I have learned some valuable lessons about money management and when to spend and when to save. I also came to appreciate the things I already own. I was forced to create outfits from what I already had in my closet on Friday nights and the results were often surprisingly good.

Moving forward, I came up with three questions I must ask myself before I make a purchase:

1. Is this something I truly need and have been planning on buying or is it an impulse buy?

2. If it is on the pricier side, is it classic? Will it last season after season?

3. If it's something trendy, is it worth taking a chance on? Is it a piece that can be paired with other pieces that are already in my wardrobe or would I have to buy additional pieces and parts to make it work?

And I can't end this post without saying the best rule of personal finance, "Don't spend what you don't have" (ie, credit cards are bad!).

(Photo via Nordstrom)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yay Etsy: Sexy swim


I kind of like the vampy bathing suits at this Etsy Shop. They would be perfect for a honeymoon or vacation on a secluded island. Or if you were a bond girl. It reminds me of a suit that Victoria's Secret came out with last year that was twice the price. They also have a polka dot variety. Yay Etsy!

If these old walls could talk

I thought I would share the random outfit photo shoot we took over the weekend against this old mural. I did this as an outfit post for Shop My Closet, but I thought the photographer did a great job.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Temper Trap


The beau and I went to the Temper Trap concert this weekend and loved it. The lead singer was really sultry and the whole band had great energy. That was my first concert at the House of Blues, and even though the band was really entertaining, I couldn't help but stare at the decor on the walls and ceiling.

You may know the band from the movie 500 Days of Summer with their hit single, Sweet Disposition. Here is another of their songs, Love Lost, that really caught my ear. Enjoy!

Cape and knee highs over tights

I love the knee highs over heart tights and cape. Perfect. Have a good Monday!

(Photo via The Blonde Salad)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Friday!

I think everyone blogged about this image this week. Jenna Lyons, J.Crew's creative director is looking good in Aspen. I love her long striped scarf, Chanel chain link bag, and perfect black blazer. Have a great weekend!

“Someone once told me that if you ask a woman 'What is the favorite thing in your closet?' she’ll pull out her newest dress,” says Jenna Lyons. “If you ask a man, he’ll pull out some tattered old thing he’s had forever. That’s the big difference. And that’s what Andy gets.” -Another good quote from the article about Kate and Andy Spade

Spill it: Wants

Let's dish. It's Friday after all. What are you craving, wanting more than anything, your life depends on it, but you can't have because either it's too expensive or you are trying to save money. Here is my list. What is on yours?

This ruffly bathing suit top is sooo cute.

A wardrobe fully outfitted by theory.

I love a good brown leather bag.
This gorgeous summery top that I didn't notice until after I posted about tops.


A new pair of skinnies in dark wash this time.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Scent: Velvet Blackberry

So I stopped by Victoria's Secret to check out the Secret Moments collection of scents. None were my style. The only one that smelled remotely good was Island Escape. It smelled like coconut, but I think the Secret Gardens Coconut Passion is a better coconut scent anyways. Although I didn't like the new group of scents, I discovered a new perfume that is vampy and musky. I sprayed Velvet Blackberry on my hand and I couldn't stop smelling it. It lasted for the rest of the day.

Sale: Banana Republic

There is a 40% off spring sale at Banana Republic and there are some really cute styles marked down. This top is $39.99 marked down from $69.50. Remember this top from my list earlier this week? Also marked down. Happy shopping!

The spades

I recently saw this article while reading this blog. After reading this blogger's highlights of the article I had to read it for myself. The story of how the Spades turned a simple and elegant black bag into a successsful business and brand is so interesting to me. It's one of those ideas that seems so simple. It makes you wish you could come up with the next easy to produce, must have item for the decade. I was also extremely intrigued by the mind set behind the marketing and creation of this brand. It seemed like it was such a personal endeavor for them, which is what made it so unique.

"The Spades are from the Midwest. They like to get together with their old friends and stay up late. They like things to be classic and they like the color Kelly green. They came to the city, but they didn’t set about erasing the people they were before they got here, and they still have that outsider’s endless thrill of how cool is this art gallery? How great is this weird smelly record store?"

Definitely a must read article:
Read more: Spring Fashion 2010 - Inside Kate and Andy Spade's New Business Venture -- New York Magazine http://nymag.com/fashion/10/spring/63806/index2.html#ixzz0j24cbEbL

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New scents at Vicki's

I am a sucker for pretty and simple packaging. I wonder if the new Victoria's Secret line of scents is worth smelling.

Built by Wendy

Built by Wendy is a line that provides clean and simple shapes with its clothing that always end up looking cute and girly. And materials and colors that give it a classic feel. But the prices are a bit high for a girl like me. So I have discovered the most marvelous thing in the world, Built by Wendy patterns. Now that I am officially wanting my very own sewing machine and have even bought some fabrics and have started some mini projects, I am very excited to try out my DIY skills on one of these darling patterns.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Coco before Chanel

I finally saw Coco before Chanel this weekend. I really enjoyed it. The images to me were beautiful. There was stiff competition for best costume design at the Academy Awards this year, and I have not seen Young Victoria, but I loved the clothing from this movie.

The top you wear with jeans for a night out

With this in between weather it's sometimes nice to just throw on a dressy top, some bangles, and a pair of jeans when going out. But for some reason, I never buy these so called dress-up-your jeans tops. I am more inclined to buy pretty dresses and bottoms. So it is my goal to add more functional tops to my wardrobe. Here are some of my picks:

Banana republic usually has nice options that are simple and classic like this shirt. It can be dressed up with jewelry and it feels dressy because of the sophisticated fabrics.
I like this J.Crew blouse because it is cute and girly. It doesn't necesarily have to be a sexy top.
This top from the Gap is one you would really have to dress up with jewelry. The flowiness makes it a little more interesting as well.
I love Arden B for their fun and playful tops. This floral print is really in for spring.
I also love this top from Arden B because of its embroidary. The embroidary is an interesting detail and you wouldn't need much more than a cute pair of earrings to dress it up.

This top from Old Navy is affordable and would be a great back drop for a colorful beaded necklace.

Where do you find cute, dressy tops?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spending freeze update and outfit inspiration

How were your weekends? Mine was great. The bridal shower went off without a hitch, and I think everyone enjoyed the food and the spice game we played. I also have to announce that I resisted many sales this weekend that were very very tempting. 10 more days to go. I'm in the final stretch.
I wanted to share this outfit. Even though it is very simple there is something I love about the rolled up jeans, camel coat, and red purse

(Photo via the Sartorialist)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday! It's my sister's bridal shower tomorrow, and I am so excited. All of the weeks of planning will finally culminate into a beautiful event, fingers crossed. I stayed up late last night making some last minute red velvet cupcakes. I am so ready for the weekend. Here are some links. Enjoy!

Collages made by a Met security guard.

A photo shoot inspired by...photo shoots.

I want to go to there.

Scarves made from the finest materials from Kashmir, India.

A wise saying.  But I prefer a lime.

(Photo via From Me To You)

Guy stuff


Ok, so I rarely talk about men's clothing. It's kind of interesting to see what the other sex likes and dislikes every once in a while. Who their picks are for the NCAAs. Their favorite cologne. Whatever. And since I am such a "fashion aficionado" maybe they care about what I think. Probably not. So to all of you men out there who I force to read my blog, I would like to introduce you to a new line of men's clothing coming highly recommended from trusted source Michael Williams of A Continuous Lean. Riviera Club is "inspired by the real life adventures of surfer and wayward rich-kid Bunker Spreckels and the company’s home base of Santa Barbara, California"- ACL.
So take a look and let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wants and Cravings

Things that are making it especially hard to be on a spending freeze right now. 

An adorable anchor tote


Basically everything in the Liberty of London Target collection. Especially this dress.

And this pillow.

A nicely priced flower pin.

New cupcakes at Starbucks.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Emmersonmade

So speaking of DIY, I have to express my love and obsession of Emersonmade. I was inspired to do this post after I saw Katie's post last night. It seems as though the line started out as flower pins and has branched out each season with new flowers and inventory such as clutches and sashes. This is one of those online destinations that I will keep returning to for inspirtation and with a craving for every item. The photography and styling is so cute and the outfits are inspirations in themselves. Check out the Web site for shopping and the blog for beautiful editorials.

This is their newest big rose. They even have really cute names.


This is the Dandy.


This is the Big Poppy.


And they have styles for men.


The pretty flowers can set you back a bit. For the small to large flowers and roses the range is anywhere between $32.50 and $84. The clutches are between $48 and $68. This may be a hard purchase to justify after my spending freeze is over. However, I can see a big red rose adorning my gray herringbone jacket perfectly or a Big Poppy on my navy blue sundress. Each flower is hand dyed and hand stitched; and they are made of natural linens and sometimes high-grade cottons, which is probably why they are worth it. These would be perfect purchases for the special occasions in your life.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

DIY

I have been in a kind of do it yourself mood lately. I bought some fabric over the weekend for (from left to right) a bridal shower centerpiece, a seat cushion, and a scarf. I sort of broke the rules of my spending freeze, but all in the name of trying to save money in the long run by making it myself. And all of the fabric was on sale, not totaling more than $20. Ok. I still cheated.

Fashion: Keep it in the family


Because yesterday was the 38-year anniversary since the Godfather premiered in theaters, I am going to discuss something very relevant to this blog to celebrate, Diane Keaton. Diane looks great in every movie she does, and she is probably most famous for her fashion in Annie Hall, but I think people have overlooked her outfits in the Godfather because it's such a violent movie. While some people are trying to figure out who to trust, I am busy admiring Kay Adams's polka dot dress and fur coat. There are countless other looks, especially when you get into Part 3, but those images are hard to find seeing that most people are interested in what's going with Michael. You should pour yourself a glass of wine and make a big bowl of pasta and see for yourself. But don't eat any suspect cannolis.

Fall Ankle Boots

Like any true romantic, fall makes me reach for dark, floral patterns and feminine details. To balance out that vibe, I occasionally drif...