Boxy lady


I finally got to wear this top that I gushed about in my July budget post! The weather here has been a little crazy; monsoonal moisture has been hovering over us for the past few days, and temperatures have taken quite the dip. While it’s refreshing, it kind of threw me off guard as far as getting dressed. I actually wore jeans the other day. Whaaat?! Anyway, even with the threat of showers, I was dying to wear my “box shirt”, as I lovingly refer to it. This thing is seriously comfortable. It’s incredibly large, but it’s like wearing an oversized sweatshirt (without the long sleeves, hood, and kangaroo pocket). Also, the design? I’m obsessed with it. I love Anthropologie for really unique items like this. I usually have a hard time styling more unique items, but the fact that this top has stripes makes it easier to wear. The waves add the perfect interesting touch!

Remember how I was trying to decide whether or not to pursue a PhD after finishing up my Master’s? (Read the post here!) Well, I’ve officially decided to stay on and work towards a PhD starting next spring! I’m excited but really anxious; it just seems like a lot of work that I never saw myself capable of doing. I think doing a Master’s first was the best way to ease into doing research and realize that I can do this stuff. I can write journal articles and a thesis and defend it (eventually!). Yay for being a professional student! 😉


Top: Paul & Joe Sister via Anthropologie (on sale!) | Shorts: J.Crew Factory | Flats: J.Crew (similar; last seen here) | Earrings (old): Forever 21 | Sunglasses: ModCloth

July budget


  1. Uniqlo Top: $6 (originally $13)
  2. Uniqlo Top (seen here): $6 (originally $13)
  3. Uniqlo Leggings: $15
  4. Uniqlo Skirt: $30
  5. J.Crew Factory Top: $18 (originally $42.50) *
  6. J.Crew Factory Top: $2 (originally $56.50; on promo + used a gift card) *
  7. Madewell Skirt: $47 (originally $88) *
  8. Madewell Tee: $18 (originally $39.50)
  9. Madewell Tee: $9.50 (originally $35; on promo + used a gift card) *
  10. Madewell Tee (seen here): $21 (originally $42)
  11. Anthropologie Top: $60 (originally $128)
  12. Banana Republic Factory Earrings (seen here): $13 (originally $30)
  13. Carrini Flats (via Hautelook): $6 (originally $40; used $10 store credit)
  14. Kate Spade Necklace (via Nordstrom): $41 (originally $58)
  15. Forever 21 Cami: $2 *

* The cost of these items was covered by PayPal funds thanks to eBay sales.

July Total = $216

$500 (quarterly budget) – $249 (June) – $216 (July) = $35 left for August

Even though I’m under budget, I’m not proud of my spending this month. I didn’t include a couple of purchases because I’m mulling over them (I just received them), so the numbers above don’t look that bad, but I’m about $160 over if I end up keeping everything I ordered this month. I’m having a difficult time because my need/want (mostly need, of course) list is quite long, and if I see something that satisfies something on my list at a good price, I get it even if I know I shouldn’t because I’m trying to budget. It’s hard for me to spread out my purchasing, especially if there’s an amazing sale going on and if many things on my list are part of the sale. I’m hoping that eventually my list won’t be so long…haha. To top it off, I didn’t sell as much on eBay as I was hoping to. It was a sad month. August is going to be difficult for me!

Anyway, let’s discuss what I purchased! I placed a Uniqlo order at the end of June, and I purchased enough to get free shipping, though I picked things that were on my list. I could have waited on the leggings because it feels nothing like winter outside yet, and I wish I would have waited on the skirt because it went on sale (no price adjustments–boo), but I’m quite pleased with everything (especially the tank tops!). I placed a giant J.Crew Factory order expecting to keep two items, but I decided to only keep the striped top. I must admit that the second JCF top I saw on Instagram and immediately needed it (haha), so I placed an order. It ended up working out since I had a gift card from an old return and some PayPal funds to cover the last couple of dollars.

I took advantage of three Madewell promos, and I love everything. I also purchased a jacket that I haven’t made a decision on yet, but it’ll be in next month’s budget post if I end up keeping it. I’ve written a lot about how much I love linen tees, so picking up two during Madewell’s sale-on-sale promos was an easy decision. The crop tee I actually purchased at full price, and the next day it went on promo so I got a price adjustment. I wore it the day after I got it and am in LOVE with it! I can’t wait to show it to you guys.

As far as my Anthro purchase goes, I’ve been obsessed with this top for weeks, so when it was on sale I snatched it up and later got a price adjustment when they had their sale-on-sale earlier in the month. It’s HUGE, but in a good way, and I’m planning on featuring it on the blog here soon!

Most of you know that I was in New Hampshire earlier this month. There’s no sales tax in NH, so I was hoping to make some purchases at the outlet mall. All I found were these gorgeous earrings from Banana Republic Factory. I was hoping to find the red striped top from J.Crew Factory, but they were all out of my size. I’m trying not to dwell on the fact that I could have gotten it for $6 if it was available. (Grrrr.)

I placed a Hautelook order for the leopard d’Orsay flats and also a pair of Hudson jeans. The jeans I returned; I want to try a different size, and the price was a little too high at $90. I’ve had leopard flats on my list for years, so I was excited to snatch these for so little. They’re cheap flats so if they only last through a couple of seasons, I’ll be okay. If I end up loving them in my wardrobe, I’ll invest in a nicer pair.

Of course, I took advantage of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and grabbed this pretty Kate Spade necklace! I also purchased a sweater and handbag but am still making a decision about those. There’s so much more I want to order, though. I had to cut myself off. The first order I placed was actually less than an hour after it opened, and sadly, my order was cancelled a few days later. It was for emerald green Kendra Scott earrings, and I was so looking forward to them! Ah well.

If you read my novel, thank you! 🙂 How’d you do this month?

Linking up with Franish & my fellow budgeting bloggers

ISO: Simple black sandals

If there’s one thing I wish I had to finish up my summer wardrobe, it’s a pair of simple black sandals. I’ve been extremely picky when it comes to these sandals ever since I fell in love with these Apiece Apart sandals I mentioned in my June wishlist. Because I couldn’t justify their price tag, I based my search on finding a close match within my budget. I wanted minimal straps (meaning only a few, thin straps), and I preferred straight straps over criss-cross (though I did look at many pairs with criss-cross straps). I really wanted leather sandals over faux leather/plastic, mostly because of the comfort factor. Comfort was number one for me! I also wanted a pair of flat sandals, though I was open to a small heel if I found the right pair. I’ve been searching for this perfect pair for months. I mean, summer is almost over…and I still don’t have these sandals!


Here is my current pair of black sandals. I’ve had these for years. I want to say I purchased them just before starting high school, and now I’m going into my third year of graduate school. They are ancient, but they have been holding up surprisingly well. They are fraying a lot on the straps (which are true leather!), and there’s a small hole forming in the top of the sole where my feet rub. The heels still look pretty good, and the jewels have held on through hell and high water. I’m shocked that these Target sandals have lasted as long as they have! This summer will be their last; I’m tired of the jewels and finally ready to say goodbye. (You can see them in action here, here, and here.)


This pair from American Eagle Outfitters was the first I tried when I started my search. I purchased them and included them in my April budget before I had decided to return them. The cheap, plastic straps rubbed my feet and made it uncomfortable to walk even around my living room, so that was a deal breaker. (I was hoping they were going to be comfortable plastic straps, but those seem to be hard to find, haha.) I figured I may as well return them and use the money towards a pair that checked off all of my boxes.


The second pair of sandals I tried was this pair from J.Crew Factory. They look extremely similar to the tan pair I have from Madewell, but I tried them anyway… They were way on sale, so of course I had to (I never learn!). While I liked them in theory, they ended up being too narrow in width. Because I’m susceptible to bunions (thanks Mom!), I’ve been more careful about purchasing shoes that are wide enough. For shoes I wouldn’t wear every other day, they’d be fine, but I’d wear these sandals pretty much every other day during the summer. It also took me entirely too long to figure out how the ankle strap worked, and it wasn’t that comfortable once it was done up. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the straps weren’t that uncomfortable for being polyurethane. These would have been included in my upcoming July budget had I kept them, but they didn’t make the cut.


After two fails and lots of consideration, I decided to pull the plug on a custom pair from Ananias Sandals, a shop on Etsy. I’ve heard wonderful things about the shop owner and knew he made custom sandals. I wanted to order these last month, but the fact that they are (a) custom and (b) coming from Greece initially deterred me because I knew I would not return them. Well, here we are, almost at the end of summer still wearing my old sandals…and I finally ordered them. I picked a sandal with two thin front straps (I would have gone with one, but knowing me and how often I trip on nothing, two seemed like a better idea) and a simple ankle strap. They are made of Greek leather (yay!), and I was able to give him the width of my feet so (hopefully) they fit me perfectly! The best part is with shipping, they came to less than $50. I’m really hoping they are exactly what I want, so fingers crossed that my search has finally ended!

Ode to the white tee


I have no idea why I haven’t been wearing my white t-shirt lately, but now I suppose I can say that I fell in love with it all over again! It was a wrinkled mess after sitting in a pile for so long, so I washed it…and I think it was the first time it had been washed, because it shrunk ever so slightly in the width and length. It’s now the perfect combination of fitted and loose, and the length is perfect on my short-ish torso! (I did buy one size smaller than the size chart suggests based on what others thought of the fit.) It’s also perfect without a camisole underneath (meaning it’s not see-through), which seems impossible to find in a light shirt nowadays. If you haven’t tried Everlane tees yet, I highly recommend you do. You get all of this at an incredible price. (No, they don’t sponsor me; I just love this tee and now I want more!)

Also, I have a secret to share. These photos used to have a blue tinge (maybe you can still see it, but I can’t really see it anymore with my novice eyes). The night before I wore this outfit, Chris photographed in the kitchen for his own blog post, and the white balance was changed for that. We totally forgot about that and didn’t notice until I was uploading the photos onto my computer! We both had sunglasses on so it was hard to tell during the shoot. I’m pretty proud of myself for fixing it, haha! Oh, the joys of sharing a camera with a food blogger. 🙂


Tee: Everlane | Shorts: J.Crew Factory | Sandals: Madewell | Necklace: BaubleBar | Sunglasses: ModCloth

Summer bold


Even though I’ve been wearing a lot more greys and blacks than usual, there’s still a soft spot in my heart for bold color. I love wearing this shirt and skirt together! The first time I wore this outfit was back in March, and I posted a quick snap of it on my Instagram, knowing that I would be wearing it again (multiple times) and eventually posting about it. Here we are!

Also, I want to mention that I love talking about the weather (if that wasn’t obvious!), and I know it’s probably super boring to read about what the weather was like because every blogger talks about that. Since I’m studying it, I talk about it way more than the average person; when I’m with friends, the weather always comes up–it’s in our blood! So, I hope it’s okay if I write solely about the weather sometimes (see: previous post). I’ll try not to bring it up in every post (I already failed in this post, haha), but if I do bring it up and you really hate reading about it, I’m sorry! I hope you can forgive me. 🙂


Top: Anthropologie (last seen here) | Skirt: Madewell (on sale; last seen here) | Sandals: Madewell | Sunglasses: ModCloth

Triple digits


I wore this when the temperature soared to over 100 degrees F last week. All I can say is thank goodness for linen, and why the heck did I not own any linen before this summer?! 100 degrees is not uncommon where I live; we’ve been known to have multiple days in a row above 100 degrees. While I don’t live in a place with humidity, I still feel like I’m roasting alive when I step outside the door into triple-digit heat. Don’t even get me started on hot cars…instant sweat when you open the door. I’m pretty jealous of you guys in the midwest that experienced the dip in temperatures last week!


Top: Uniqlo (out of stock in gray) | Skirt: J.Crew Factory | Sandals (old): Target | Earrings: American Eagle Outfitters | Sunglasses: ModCloth

White hot


Whew! It’s getting pretty hot over here in the Intermountain West. It’s now that I can’t even remember what snow looked like or cold felt like; it’s 80 degrees at 9 am and I already feel like melting! Surprisingly, I haven’t been reaching for dresses this season as much as I thought I would (in comparison, last summer, I wore dresses pretty often). However, I had to wear my white dress, because it’s perfect for being outside in the heat (white increases your albedo, and a higher albedo means more sunlight reflected off of you, so you don’t feel as warm!). Also, it makes me look more tan than I am (win!). This dress was part of my November Stylish Surprise box from ModCloth; I got it for a steal!


Dress: Max and Cleo via ModCloth | Wedges (old): Target | Earrings: ModCloth | Tote: ModCloth | Sunglasses: ModCloth

From the Window Seat, vol. 1

One of my favorite things about flying is sitting in the window seat. Watching the sky and ground below will literally keep me entertained for 4+ hours (as long as I’m not super tired, which happens too often–why is sitting in an airplane so exhausting?!). I’m studying atmospheric sciences right now, and I have a giant love for our planet (I studied hydrology during my undergrad), so I’m a huge nerd when it comes to all things Earth science related. For this post, I wanted to share some of my favorite photos I snapped from the window seat during my most recent trip. (None of the photos have been edited.)


Thunderstorm anvil over the Midwest


Lake Michigan


Sunset as we turn onto the runway


New York City (and surrounding areas) at night


Massachusetts: Boston (bottom left-center) and Cape Cod (in the distance)


Fields somewhere over the midwest


Awesome geology somewhere over the southwest


Canyon! (No idea which one, but I don’t think it’s the Grand Canyon.)

Tilton Island Park


If you have never been to New England, you should probably start making plans now. This area of the country is absolutely stunning; nearly every road is picturesque, even in the middle of summer. My favorite time of year is–hands down–autumn. There really is nothing like a New England autumn. The first time I ever visited Chris was in October a couple of years ago. I could not get over how beautiful it was! I would advise avoiding New England in the winter unless you really like snow. And I mean, really really like snow.


We wandered to the cutest little park in the middle of the Winnipesaukee River for this photo session. As much as I’m not that attracted to retro style, something about high-waisted shorts works for me. A tied sleeveless blouse kind of takes it up another notch, doesn’t it? Also, I’m so glad I bought this shirt. It’s so perfect for sweltering heat. (This day was the hottest day of our vacation. We took major advantage of the pool later in the afternoon!)


Shirt: LOFT (unavailable online; check stores) | Shorts: ModCloth (last seen here) | Sandals: Salt Water (exact; also available here) | Earrings: ModCloth | Tote: ModCloth | Sunglasses: ModCloth

Merrimack Valley Railroad


I’m back from my second summer vacation! Chris and I spent last week in New England with his family. We had so much fun shopping at the outlets (where I picked up these earrings!), swimming in the pool, boating, visiting with more family (and attempting a disc golf course on a mountain), hanging out with farm animals, playing with Chris’s little niece and nephew, and checking out a state park on the most beautiful day.


I packed as little as possible for our trip. I was playing with the idea of doing a 7×7 challenge (7 pieces – 7 days), but decided against it when I realized I could only pick one pair of shoes. I’m pretty against wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row (unless I absolutely have to) in order to prevent them from wearing out quickly, so wearing the same pair seven days in a row seemed too extreme. I packed only separates (four tees/tops and two pairs of shorts) along with my two favorite pairs of summer sandals. I am sooo glad I brought this linen tee with me! It’s a recent purchase from Madewell and my first 100% linen tee. I never felt hot while wearing it–awesome!


Tee: Madewell | Shorts: J.Crew Factory (sold out in this color) | Sandals: Madewell | Earrings: Banana Republic Factory | Tote: ModCloth | Sunglasses: ModCloth