April 30, 2012

Pink & Teal Birthday Card

I decided to fall head first into making cards for the family after dreaming about it for way too long.  My first successful attempt is my mom's birthday card where I used simple lines to show off one of my favorite colors.  Though it was fun using computer programs I haven't used since my wedding planning days, my best moment on this project was when I got a job offer at a local paper store due to my color schemes.  Where was that job in college?

April 24, 2012

30 for 30 Challenge {final thoughts}

Thanks for sticking with me this month!  Let's face it.  I'm pretty practical in my clothing choices - even though I own way too many.  I felt like my wardrobe was a money pit and I was always buying new clothes despite the overflowing closet (okay, two closets).  I wanted to break my cycle and take the closet organization to the extreme and this challenge fit the bill.

I plan to make a better effort to hold onto pieces I love and feel great in, even if the magazines say it's not "in" and to part with pieces I spent money on, but don’t do you me any favors.  My unworn clothes do no justice for my closet real estate and only hide the stuff I do like.  The easiest way to maintain my new closet:  less stuff.  So, besides actually parting with stuff, I'm working on the shopping side of things too.

my new shopping questions:
1.  Does it go with everything?
2.  Do I already have one? 
3.  Does it fit well?
4.  Can I move/sit in it?
5. Is it a style I want in my closet?
6.  If it is on sale – would I pay full price for it?
I will continue to play with my fashion and closet, but I'll have to do variations of this challenge when I do it again, since my photographer almost passed out when I teased him about continuing the fashion aspect of the blog.  To be honest, I was a little relieved he put a stop to it.  It has been weird to see so many photographs of myself.  I obviously do not study magazines for poses enough and most of mine were just plain awkward

So here it is.  The 30 days.  All in one place.

April 23, 2012

WIW {days 26-30}

I made it...in 30-ish days!  Biggest lesson:  We need a lot less than we think.  Second: It is hard to break old habits.  I am proud to say I didn't buy any clothes this month.  I even tried once, and walked out because it wasn't in my budget and nothing passed my new list of questions.

On a side note:  I need a hair cut & new hair styles.

26: Tshirt/Cardigan-Target, Skirt-the Limited, heels-Hive & Honey {dsw}
27:  tshirt-ann taylor, cardigan-nordstrom, pants-gap, shoes-nine west
28:  tshirt-target, jeans-!It, shoes-nine west
29:  tshirt-target, cardigan-nordstrom, pants-express, shoes-marshalls
30:  tshirt-loft, jeans-!It, shoes-madden

April 19, 2012

WIW {days 21-25}

I'm on the home stretch!  This week was a little rough in bribing my photographer, but the challenge survived through business meetings, weekend festivities, and everything in between.   

The best things I put in the mix: the black skirt, black pants, and black cardigan. Black is one of my must-have fashion "colors".   

The least useful item in the mix:  the coral colored cardigan.   I tried this in my 30 for 30 challenge since I saw it everywhere this spring.  I like it, but I like my teals, magenta and other jewel tones more and will probably revert back to them after this.  What are your colors?

April 13, 2012

Money: Planning vs. Tracking

I heard a great quote yesterday: “The moment communication dies, resentment is born.”  


It took Mr. and me almost 3 years to truly communicate our finances.  He was afraid of too many restrictions and I was overzealous on the process as a whole.  We finally found our missing link:  the monthly budget.  I had been doing the tracking but it does no good to track when there is no plan.  I would get stressed out and Mr. felt like he could never do the right thing.

Negotiations for this took a while but we finally decided on these ground rules:

1.  Make it realistic {don't forget those clothes, dates, gifts, pets, and how much food really costs!}
2.  Allow for a "free" money fund for each person {this means no questions asked up to the dedicated amount}
3.  Allow for fun
4.  Life & Mistakes will happen.  Learn. Modify. And Move on.

Income is on top.  The non-negotiable expenses should immediately follow the income and then more variable expenses should be last.  I actually forgot the pets on the first month, so needless to say, this has to be updated.  
Ultimately, your income should always be more than or equal to your expenses, any extra can just be bonus savings.

The best source for how to make one for yourself are Dave Ramsey's website.  The finance books I've read show the similar percentages as this website, though I like to be more conservative in housing.  This NMSU publication and Real Simple's Plan are good as well.

April 10, 2012

WIW, Days 16-20

I got a compliment today!  

I guess people don’t notice when you repeat {as long as you’re not posting it like me}.  I ended up changing into jeans last week to travel after working in the black pants all day, so it’s technically 2 outfits, one day but I made up for it by wearing the same things over and over again during the trip {without caring}. Layering the shirts made for even fewer items in the suit case, which is a plus since I rarely take more than what will fit in my carry on.  

April 9, 2012

Lovely Layers & A Petite Crush

So I was really grumpy doing my clothing challenge last week because the weather changed and I missed my shorts, green tee (turns out to be a hot color this season), and sandals.  To kick my funky clothing mood, I hung out in my workout clothes all day Saturday instead of actually getting dressed and I found a new fashion blog! La Vie Petite's spring layers of a striped sweater and chambray shirt made me lust all weekend long. 


I'm still in the middle of my outfit challenge and I can't run to the nearest Loft to buy the same sweater or a pair of white pants {so spring!}, but I have two shirts in my 30 items that are kind of similar {okay, maybe not at all} and I gave this layered look a try.  Cori's version wins hands down but it definitely inspired me to layer more.

sweater-banana republic; chambray shirt-old navy; necklace-banana republic; pants-express; shoes-hive & honey

April 4, 2012

Whirly Wednesday {And a Hairpin Test}

Have you heard of the hair corkscrew pin aka spiral pins?  I figured I'd give them a whirl.

The Test:  A messy bun for yet another rushed morning.

The Verdict:  The twists worked as advertised and hold my hair well.  I didn’t have to redo it at all during the day.  I used a few bobby pins for the loose ends and the braid {I should have taken more with me to work!} but overall it was much easier than ruining 4-5 bobby pins and redoing it every 2 hours and prettier than my brown elastics I use for pony tails.

So for less than $6, I’d say they were worth the money and they will be used again {and again} this summer!

April 2, 2012

Outfit Challenge Update {11-15}

I'm half way there!  

I think my photographer is losing interest..I look bored in half of my photos, but I'm not.  It's just that Mr. took full outfit photos after taking face shots, goofy shots, or photos of the dog.  So by the time he got an "outfit" shot, I wasn't paying attention.  There are only so many photos you need to see of my face {or the dog's}.  That said, thank you for sticking with me on this project Mr.!  

I wore a lot of "safe" solids this week and I feel a little odd quoting every source since it seems like half of it is from Target, you've seen it all, and the point of this challenge is to make do with what I have.

purple shirt dress-the limited; leopard shoes-nine west; chambray shirt-old navy; black pants-express; black pumps-nine west; teal cardigan, white tee & black tee-target; jeans-banana republic; jeans-!It; denim jacket-j. crew fall '07; coral cardigan-target; brown skirt-banana republic; tan pumps-nine west