Plaidurday

IMG_9738

How much plaid is too much plaid? (Should I be asking that question?) I know I went a little bit overboard with this one, but I couldn’t help myself. For some reason I really wanted to wear my red plaid flannel shirt with my plaid blanket scarf. I decided to wear the scarf a different way this time, and my boyfriend suggested wearing it like a shawl, so that’s what I did! I wore this outfit for a day of wandering around downtown while the car was in the shop. Oh, the joys of being an adult.

P.S. THANK YOU to whoever used my Everlane referral link to sign up and place an order. It made my week to see that! I hope you love what you ordered. ūüôā

IMG_9766 IMG_9786 IMG_9792

Zara scarf via Ebay (likely a knockoff; exact) / L.L.Bean shirt (old; similar; last seen here) / Madewell jeans and boots (on sale!) / ModCloth tote

January budget

janbudget

  1. Helmut Lang Sweatshirt (via SSENSE; seen here): $27 (originally $230; on sale for $127 & used $100 in Christmas money)
  2. J.Crew Belt: $19 (originally $34.50)
  3. J.Crew Flats (via Ebay; old version): $29 (originally $125; used PayPal money)
  4. & Other Stories Boots: $69 (originally $195)
  5. Everlane Sweater (seen here): $118 (originally $128)

January Total = $233

$566 ($500 quarterly budget + $66 carried over) – $296 (December) – $233 (January) = $37 left for February

I knew this was going to be a spendy month before the month even started, haha. The sweatshirt I ordered before Christmas (it was 50% off and something I’ve been wanting for nearly a year so I bit!). I also received a $10 coupon for Everlane and could not get the cashmere sweaters out of my head; I had to give one a try! Even with the Christmas money I received, those two items took up the majority of my budget this time. I regret neither purchase. I’ve already worn both three times this month, which doesn’t seem like a lot until you realize how many sweaters I have (a lot, haha). I’m looking forward to more wears the next couple of months and into the future!

Other purchases include a cognac belt from J.Crew that I snagged when I stopped in store as well as the original made-in-Italy Cece ballet flats in black leather (definitely my favorite pair of ballet flats ever; J.Crew discontinued them but just brought them back, though they aren’t made in Italy anymore–bummer!). The Ceces I found on Ebay, and somehow I got them for $29 including shipping. I feel like I got so lucky! Thanks to Ebay sales this month, the purchase of the flats didn’t come out of my budget.

The ankle boots are from a new-to-me brand, & Other Stories, the little sister of H&M. They make gorgeous ready-to-wear garments, shoes, and accessories. I recently fell in love with their aesthetic because of Taylor Swift. I couldn’t ignore these boots–they are the perfect deep red color, made of leather, and were a whopping $59 on sale (shipping and tax added $10 to the price). HOW COULD I SAY NO?! I have no self control, I know. But I didn’t buy these right when I saw them; I thought about them for a full weekend before I pulled the trigger. And I cannot wait to show them to you all. ūüôā

Looking ahead to February, I have a few things in mind that I’m hoping to buy, but it’s going to be difficult considering I only have $37 to spend! I’m hoping to sell quite a bit more on Ebay, so that will definitely help. As far as shoes go, I think I’m good…though I do think I want a pretty pair of sandals for spring/summer and that’s something I’ll be looking out for in the next few months.

jangifts

Here are also a couple of last minute Christmas gifts I received. The J.Crew Factory scarf I actually forgot to include in my December budget post; a good friend of mine gifted it to me. I wear it often and it might make its way into an outfit post. The Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes were a late gift given to me by my brother. We went shopping on New Year’s Day because hitting up the Dillard’s NYD sale is a must-do for me every year! That’s when I always get my Sperrys because I’ve never seen better prices on them; 50% off already reduced prices is a steal in my book and it’s totally worth battling the crowd. (We went later in the afternoon and there was still lots of shoes left!)

Linking up with Franish & my fellow budgeting bloggers

Two months later

IMG_9885

Does this outfit look familiar to you? If you’ve been following me since Thanksgiving, you may recognize the sweater and pants from my Thanksgiving day outfit. I mentioned in that post that what I wore wasn’t what I had originally planned. I forgot to pack my white collared shirt, and I opted for sandals instead of boots because it was freakin’ hot where we had Thanksgiving dinner. Now, two months later, I’m showing you the outfit I had originally planned! Which version is your favorite? I have to admit that I like both because they have very different vibes to me.

IMG_9824 IMG_9904 IMG_9841IMG_9900

J.Crew sweater (last seen here) and pants / Uniqlo shirt (long-sleeved version; last seen here) / Sam Edelman boots (exact) / Kate Spade earrings via Nordstrom Rack / Anthropologie sunglasses / Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick in soft raspberry

Whole30: Nearly halfway

Tomorrow marks day 15 of our Whole30. I’m not going to lie, it has been a rough couple of weeks. Chris and I were ready to call it quits last weekend…and then I looked up the “timeline” and realized we were right on track! I didn’t realize people felt lots of different emotions while doing the Whole30, but it totally makes sense. It’s also cool to see that enough people have chimed in about their experiences that the timeline was able to be created. Today’s post is just a quick update, including some recipes we’ve tried, setbacks, accidental and purposeful cheats, and thoughts moving forward.

IMG_7210

Feelings after first half: Is it February 11th yet? Seriously, I’m counting down the days. I miss everything I can’t eat. I’ve already started making a list and daydreaming about what I’m going to eat when this is done. I know you’re not supposed to jump into ALL the crap food the day after Whole30 is done, but it’s so tempting! It doesn’t help that Valentine’s Day is just a few short days after. The things I miss most are cheese, chocolate, cookies, any kind of bread, cereal, milk…and also being able to eat out. We’ve been out for breakfast but that’s all we really care to try. (Though we are going out to eat later this week and it should be interesting.) I also couldn’t get into my journal. I journaled for three days and then stopped. I should have kept track more because I had weird PMS symptoms last week (when I’m not expecting my menstrual cycle until next month). I was not expecting that at all. It’s crazy how much diet affects bodily functions that you don’t even think would that much.

Accidental and purposeful cheats: We bought freeze-dried strawberries that just had strawberries listed in the ingredients. We also bought freeze-dried peaches, thinking that it would just be peaches. Nope. We had some and then realized there was added sugar. We also made roasted potatoes last week (see bottom photo) and put seasoned salt on the potatoes, also not realizing there was sugar in it. Oops! At least we didn’t put that much on. After the first week, we both felt really weak and decided to take our gummy vitamins again even though there’s glucose in them. (Turns out the weakness we felt was normal for everyone doing the Whole30.) We don’t have them every day but I still don’t think it’s allowed. We also bought calcium gummies because of the lack of dairy. Those we’ve been having more often and they also contain glucose. I just say YOLO to that, lol.

IMG_7277

Greatest difficulties: Lunches and snacking. (And declining friends’ offers to eat out.) For lunch, we’ve brought leftovers as often as possible, but it kind of gets boring to bring leftovers over and over again. We’ve had a couple of successful lunches: strawberry almond arugula¬†salad with lime vinaigrette and egg salad lettuce wraps. We tried doing turkey avocado rolls but we could only eat the organic turkey slices and they were disgusting. Never again. Snacking is quite difficult because you’re not really supposed to snack on the Whole30; you’re supposed to eat enough filling things during meals to keep you fuller for longer. While I’ve significantly cut down on snacking, it’s still something I do and there’s not a whole lot I can eat. We did make rosemary roasted almonds and those are fine. I also nibble on pecans and fruit, like peaches or strawberries. (Strawberries are nature’s potato chips, I’ve decided.) At home, I LOVE having a sliced green apple dipped in fresh almond butter. So. Good. Breakfast used to be difficult, but now we pretty much eat the same thing every day: scrambled eggs with avocado and grapefruit during the week and that plus bacon on the weekends. We add in leftover potatoes if there are any. (This week we are making a potato hash which sounds excellent¬†for breakfast.)

Thoughts moving forward: I’m so happy we’re nearly halfway done! I feel like these past two weeks went by relatively slowly but hopefully the next two won’t be so bad. We were invited to a Super Bowl party next weekend, and that plus our one planned evening out might be the last couple of times we have to deal with making sure the food is compliant. (Thank goodness, because I hate being the person who says I’m¬†dairy- and gluten-free when I’m not, really…) I’m eager to see how I feel by the end of it since I don’t really feel that different at this point. Also, I don’t see us continuing to eat like this forever even if it does help us both feel better because it is kind of expensive. We go to the store twice a week now and the gluten/dairy-free things are more expensive than the other things. I’m glad to have new favorite meals and snacks, though, like the apples and almond butter. I hope to try some more new recipes in the second half (we tried a lot in the first half!). Lastly, I hope we continue to fight the urge to quit. We almost quit many times over the past couple of weeks (the most major being last weekend when we felt so weak). We can do it! We’re so close!

IMG_7301

Top photo: lemon rosemary salmon, rosemary roasted potatoes, and sautéed garlic green beans

Middle photo: guacamole and chili “nachos” with baked russet and sweet potato chips

Bottom photo: flank steak with pineapple relish, roasted potatoes, and lemon roasted broccoli

{Follow me on Instagram to see more of my favorite Whole30-approved recipes!}

Marsala

IMG_9703

When I first saw this cashmere sweater on Everlane, I immediately thought of my cat, Rosie, because the color they call it is rose. Then I came across a few pins on Pinterest with marsala–Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2015–and I thought this sweater looked exactly like marsala. With that in mind, I wrangled with myself for a few days, trying to decide whether to get this sweater in the marsala (a.k.a. rose) or the light grey (because you all know me and how much I love grey). I’m so happy I decided to go with this one! It’s so pretty and unexpected, not to mention it goes with the rest of my wardrobe seamlessly. I do plan on adding another cashmere sweater next fall/winter if this one holds up, and I have a feeling it’ll be the light grey one as long as Everlane brings it back. ūüėČ So far, I’m utterly in love with this sweater. I feel so cozy when I wear it! Everlane cashmere is very reasonable price-wise, so I’d recommend having a look if you’re in the market. I also love their v-neck tees, seed-stitch sweaters, and weekender bags. Feel free to use my referral link if you have never shopped there (I’ll love you forever if you do!).

IMG_9688 IMG_9698 IMG_9717 IMG_9679

ModCloth coat / Everlane sweater / Uniqlo shirt (long-sleeved version; last seen here) / J.Crew pants (similar; last seen here) / Cole Haan boots via Nordstrom (exact & on sale!)

Blackout

IMG_9631

I first wore this outfit last Friday. I wanted to be totally comfortable and put very little thought into my outfit (you know, besides the fact that it had to be comfortable). It turned out to be a new favorite of mine–so much so that I wore it again yesterday so we could snap photos. I¬†definitely plan on repeating this one again and again! I feel like a spy/ninja/bank robber when I wear it (but, you know…not like a bad bank robber, of course; maybe like that¬†lady¬†from the Nationwide commercials?). I love outfits that make me feel like I can conquer anything that day and yet still sit cross-legged at my desk because I feel like I’m wearing pajamas, haha.

IMG_9614 IMG_9637 IMG_9650 IMG_9661

Helmut Lang sweatshirt via SSENSE (exact) / Uniqlo tank top (last seen here) / J.Crew pants / ModCloth boots / Kate Spade earrings via Nordstrom Rack

Sunday school

IMG_9478

When I put together this outfit yesterday, I immediately got Sunday school/Catholic primary school vibes. (I didn’t go to a Catholic primary school but I have friends who did.) I think layering the collared sweater under my cable knit sweater really took it¬†to that level, but I’m cool with that. I love adding collars to sweaters, especially Peter Pan collars! I feel like I’m on a never-ending search for more tops and sweaters with Peter Pan collars. I find it kind of funny that I haven’t featured this sweater with the Peter Pan collar alone on here yet. It just works so well as a layering piece so that’s how I tend to wear it!

Yesterday felt gloriously like spring here. I went out sans coat and couldn’t stop talking about how nice it was outside! It’s got me thinking spring even though we have at least a month and a half of winter left. ūüôā

IMG_9489 IMG_9505 IMG_9542 IMG_9546

Old Navy sweater (old; similar from Gap) / J.Crew Factory collared sweater (old; last seen here) / Uniqlo skirt (similar & on sale!) / Hue tights via Nordstrom Rack (exact) / Sam Edelman boots (exact) / Halogen bag / Anthropologie sunglasses / Zoya nail polish

Retro red

IMG_9205

Red, again! I have to tell you a little secret… I actually wore this outfit last weekend, before I wore the outfit I posted on Thursday. I felt weird about posting two outfits in a row featuring red, especially since I don’t wear it a ton in the winter compared to neutrals like black and grey.¬†Is postponing the posting of this outfit because of that weird? Probably.

Anyway, I pulled out a couple of other oldies-but-goodies for this retro-inspired outfit: the red sweater, which hasn’t made an appearance since last April, and these boots. Oh, these boots. I love these boots, but I have the most difficult time styling them. I’m not sure if it’s the height, the color, or the wingtip that throws me off most.¬†Regardless, I’m going to be trying to create more outfits with them since I do adore them so much. I’ve been scouring Pinterest for outfit ideas. This outfit was actually inspired by this pin, which I found links to this blog post (though the exact photo isn’t in that post). Thank you, Nicole of Blankbird,¬†for inspiring me to wear these boots again!

IMG_9221 IMG_9238 IMG_9234 IMG_9281

Gap sweater (old; last seen here) / Madewell jeans / Chelsea Crew boots via ModCloth (similar; last seen here) / J.Crew earrings

Cardigan wrap

IMG_9322

Recently, I was inspired by someone I follow on Instagram, shannydoots, to try belting a chunky cardigan. She¬†posted a photo with her chunky¬†cardigan belted, and at the time, I was trying to think of a new outfit with my big, knit brown cardigan since I hadn’t worn it in a while. Immediately, I knew I wanted to give the look a shot, even if the belting-sweater-thing¬†might look a tad dated (I don’t really know since where I live has its own “fashion rules” and since I spend most of my time on a college campus, I’m used to seeing “college chic” a.k.a. flannel shirts, leggings, Uggs, etc.). This outfit was extremely comfortable for a day of sitting at my desk. What’s better than a cardigan that basically feels like a blanket and faux leggings? (I layered one of my trusty “heattech” tees from Uniqlo under the cardigan since I can’t go shirtless with it. I highly recommend those tees, and they’re so affordable! I wear them under nearly all my sweaters in the winter.)

IMG_9341 IMG_9333 IMG_9352 IMG_9360

ModCloth cardigan (old; last seen here) / Uniqlo heattech tee (currently on promo!) / J.Crew pants / Sam Edelman boots (exact) / Madewell belt (on sale!) / Kate Spade earrings via Nordstrom Rack

Linking up with Jenna‘s Thursday Favorites

Whole30: The beginning

whole30begin

Yesterday, Chris and I started the Whole30 diet. If you’re not familiar, it’s basically a paleo diet–no gluten, added sugar, dairy, weird additives, and legumes–for 30 days. This is not something I was ever planning on doing. People who know me know I’m obsessed with candy, chocolate, cheese…pretty much everything you can’t eat on the Whole30. We decided to go for it because Chris has had some gastrointestinal issues that haven’t been solved and it would have been difficult for me to eat differently than him because he’s the chef out of the two of us. (Also, I was reading about Whole30 on the website and it made me feel guilty for wanting to cheat, haha.) I figured I could do it. It’s only 30 days, and yeah, it’s probably going to suck at some point but a body “reset” sounds like a good idea to me. Plus, as far as times of the year to do something like this, now seems like the best time. There aren’t any major holidays, and we have no travel planned.

IMG_7171

We went grocery shopping on Sunday for the week and picked up a lot of fruits and veggies, a good amount of meat, some canned goods, and likely not enough snack foods. Snacking might be the most difficult part of the next month; I’m a huge snacker, especially while I’m working. Yesterday¬†I just had a few nuts and fruit leftover from lunch to munch on in the middle of the afternoon, only I polished it all off only an hour after I had lunch. We’re not even supposed to have tree nuts that often so hopefully I figure out some good, filling snack foods pronto! (Please let me know if you have any good Whole30 recipes or snack ideas! I’d love to hear them.)

IMG_7178 IMG_7175

Over the weekend, we purchased journals so we can keep track of what we eat. I also have been writing down how I feel so I can get a hang of cravings, emotions associated with them, how filling foods are, etc. I need to remember to bring it to school with me so I¬†can avoid having to remember how the day went once I get back home. We also boxed up all of the food in our pantry that we can’t eat (and that will still be good in a month). It was slightly depressing filling the box with some of my favorite things to eat!

IMG_7189 IMG_7187

Despite the inevitable challenges, I hope the next 30 days teaches me to be more aware of what I put into my body and help me make better choices when it comes to eating things that make me feel good emotionally and physically. Also, since we are basically limited to only water as far as drinks go (no alcohol…), I think this will also help me with my resolution to drink more water!

I wasn’t planning on blogging about it that much but I hope to do some more kind of “review” posts like these just to document this process since I’ve never done a diet like this before. If you have done the Whole30 before, please let me know how it went! I’d love to hear any tips, tricks, favorite recipes, ways to combat cravings, etc. ūüôā