Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Haul

Santa was very good to me this Christmas!  I feel very blessed for all that I got this year.  Mostly I think it was the fact that with gas prices so low, I was able to spend more of my Christmas money on things other than gas for the trip home and back.  I also received some really great gifts and a gift card to Kohls.  I hope you had a great holiday too and that Santa brought you all the things you wanted and that you were able to enjoy your holiday with the ones you love.  Happy New Year!

1. Inner Beauty Sign - I bought this with my Christmas money to remind myself when I put on my makeup that it's what's inside that really matters.  I found this for only $5 at Pat Catans and knew it needed to come home with me.
2. 5-in-1 Paper Trimmer - Also bought with my Christmas money.  My mom got this for Christmas and it's great for anyone who does paper crafts or makes cards. [exact but cheaper in store than online]
3. 7" Tablet Case - I bought this for just $5 at Big Lots as a temporary Case for my new tablet.  I ordered two different (and nicer) cases from Amazon for cheap, but I'm super clumsy and need to have a case so I don't break or scratch my tablet.  I'll do a review on all three cases when the other two arrive. [exact]
4. Sharper Image Bluetooth Speaker - I've been wanting a Bluetooth speaker for my cell phone because I listen to music on it all the time.  I bought this on clearance at Target.
5. Samsung Galaxy Tab4 - My husband has this same tablet.  My mom bought my dad this tablet for Christmas.  It seemed naturally that I use most of my Christmas money to buy one.  Just kidding.  Actually I bought this sort of on an impulse.  I've been wanting my own tablet for awhile now.  I have my work iPad but it doesn't belong to me.  There is tracking software that tracks what you do on my work iPad so I don't use it for things like Facebook, Blogger, or my personal life.  While I love my iPad, I didn't want one that big and I didn't have that much to spend.  This one was on super sale and I actually love how it's small enough to fit in my hand. [exact, still on sale but not super sale] (Check out Amazon for a super sale as of 12/31/14)
6. Flashlight Lantern - My brother's awesome fiancee bought this for me after I had posted on Facebook about how I needed flashlights to teach in the pitch black.  Seriously, I am way excited about this gift.  The power in our school goes out at least twice a year so this will absolutely get used!  It would also be fun to read a scary story with. [exact]
7. Paris Book Box - Not an actual book but a real box.  How cute is this?  My in-laws gave this to me with a Kohls gift card inside! [similar]

8. Navy Moccasin Slippers & 9. Leopard & Faux Fur Slippers - Every year when we go back to Pennsylvania for Christmas, I buy new slippers at Big Lots.  It's right down the hill from my parents' house so we always end up stopping in and usually before Christmas they are buy one, get one 50% off.  I've already worn both pairs several times. [exact] [exact]
10. Pink Sleeveless Button Down - I used my Kohl's gift card on items 10-13.  Everything was on sale or clearance and I also had a coupon from the Kohl's app on my phone so I only used about seven or eight dollars of my own money.  This shirt will be great to wear to work, either with a cardigan over it in the cooler months or on its own in the summer.
11. White Longsleeve Tee - I've been searching Kohls for ages for one of these in petite size in white but they were always sold out of my size.  The search ends! [exact]
12. Black Open Cardigan - This cardigan looked really boring and sad on the rack but it's really cute on!  It would look good with jeans or a dress and I think it will be very versatile. [exact]
13. Purple Quilted Zip Sweater - I've had my eye on this sweater for months but the original price was $54, which is crazy for a sweater in my opinion.  When the price was knocked down by more than half, and they had my size in many different colors, I was sold. [exact]
14. Rose and Gold Infinity Scarf - One of my sweet students bought this for me, along with a Starbucks gift card.  He said he knew I love scarves because I wear them a lot and he knew I love coffee because it's always my iPad background.  Smart kiddo! [exact]
15. Grey Plaid Scarf - Hubby bought this for me for Christmas.  He did a great job!  It's plaid, warm and super soft! [exact]

16. Pittsburgh Penguins Fleece - My mom bought this for me like six months ago on clearance at Walmart for $5.  Good find Mom!  The funny thing is she called and asked me if I wanted it and I totally forgot and was still surprised on Christmas day!  She and Dad also bought us a beautiful set of dish towels for the kitchen (one for every month of the year) and gave us a hefty bit of cash.
17. The Wesley Crushers T-shirt - If you watch The Big Bang Theory, then you probably get this joke along with the next shirt.  Hubby bought me this and it cracked me up!  He so knows me. [exact]
18. Harry Potter Wand Pen - Today I magically made all my money disappear by using this pen to pay all my bills!  LOL.  How fun is this?  I think Hubby must have read my Dear Santa post and seen the fun things I picked from HP and LotR.   Much more fun than fruit in your stocking. [exact]
19. Lord of the Rings Elven Brooch - Another cute item hubby picked out for my stocking. [exact]
20. Soft Kitty T-shirt - Another Big Bang Theory Shirt.  Approved by Nero soft kitty.  Actual soft kitty not included.  :) [exact]

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Holiday Road Trip: Packing Clothes 3

Check out any posts you might have missed!

Holiday Road Trip
Holiday Road Trip: Bags
Holiday Road Trip: Packing Toiletries
Holiday Road Trip: Makeup
Holiday Road Trip: Packing Clothes 1
Holiday Road Trip: Packing Clothes 2

So even though I only need about five outfits for my trip, I'm happy to report that I have lots of options with the pieces that I'm packing so I can mix and match other outfits if I want.  Here are some other outfits I could make.

Outfit 8
Outfit 8: chambray shirt + black cardigan + burgundy scarf + black skinny jeans + cognac boots

To be honest, this cardigan and chambray shirt were not meant to be friends.  The cardigan was a little tight in the shoulders with the chambray shirt under so I don't think this will be one I end up wearing.  Too bad; I wanted to like this more.

Outfit 9
Outfit 9: chambray shirt + grey cardigan + green pashmina scarf + black skinny jeans + cognac boots

I don't love the way this outfit turned out in photos but I think maybe if I buttoned some of the buttons on the cardigan, it would look better.  Right now it looks a little shapeless.

Outfit 10
Outfit 10: chambray shirt + red cardigan + houndstooth & plaid scarf + black skinny jeans + cognac boots

I like this outfit a lot.  And I really need to try wearing this scarf folded into a rectangle instead of always a triangle.  I bet that would look cute with this.

Outfit 11
Outfit 11: chambray shirt + oatmeal sweater + burgundy infinity scarf + black skinny jeans + cognac boots

In my head, I thought this outfit would be super cute.  In reality, the sweater is just a little too long to look good with this chambray shirt under it.  Live and learn.

Outfit 12
Outfit 12: chambray shirt + burgundy infinity scarf + black skinny jeans + cognac boots

Unless it's unseasonably warm in Pennsylvania, I would probably be too cold in this outfit but it's just so cute!  It would be good for here in Florida though.

Outfit 13
Outfit 13: chambray shirt + charcoal fleece vest + black skinny jeans + rain boots + umbrella

This is an outfit that would be perfect for chilly, rainy day that's not too cold.  It looks like there might be a few days like that, so this outfit will be a nice option.

Outfit 14
Outfit 14: maroon sweater + charcoal fleece vest + black skinny jeans + rain boots

This would be great for those "wintery mix" days where it's raining sometimes and snowing other times.  Warm and dry!

Outfit 15
Outfit 15: maroon sweater + houndstooth & plaid scarf + black skinny jeans + cognac boots

I love this outfit!  I feel like I've worn something similar before to work but with different jeans and flats.

Outfit 16
Outfit 16: grey cardigan + white tee + green pashmina scarf + black skinny jeans + cognac boots

This is a cute and simple outfit.  The pashmina scarf is really soft and warm and looks nice with my green eyes.

Outfit 17
Outfit 17: white tee + black cardigan + pink scarf + dark wash skinny jeans + rain boots + umbrella

Another good outfit for a rainy day.  This one didn't photograph so well.  With both arms at my sides, it makes me look a little wide in photos.  But in real life, the black and pink combo in the top and in the boots look really cute together.

So that's it.  My bags are packed and I'm ready to spend some quality time with my family.  Be back in a week!  Happy holidays to everyone and I hope you get to spend your holidays with the ones you love most!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Holiday Road Trip: Packing Clothes 2

Have you read them all?
Holiday Road Trip
Holiday Road Trip: Bags
Holiday Road Trip: Packing Toiletries
Holiday Road Trip: Makeup
Holiday Road Trip: Packing Clothes 1

Outfit 1
Outfit 1: black longsleeve tee + Pittsburgh Penguin hoodie + green pashmina scarf + dark wash jeggings + rain boots

This outfit is what I plan to wear in the car both to and from.  The boots and hoodie will keep me warm and dry if it is raining or snowing and my fingers and ears can easily stay warm while running into gas stations and rest areas to use the bathroom without a cumbersome coat.

Outfit 2
Outfit 2: oatmeal sweater + burgundy infinity scarf + dark wash skinny jeans + cognac boots

This was an outfit that turned out better in reality than I thought it would.  Cute and cozy.

Outfit 3
Outfit 3: white tee + grey cardigan + pink scarf + dark wash skinny jeans + rain boots

This would be a cute outfit for a rainy day.  The scarf looks cute with these boots.  For this photo, I wrapped the scarf around once then tucked the ends into opposite sides so that the fringe hung down.  To wear it all day like that, I might safety pin the ends in place.

Outfit 4
Outfit 4: black tee + red cardigan + houndstooth & plaid scarf + dark wash skinny jeans + cognac boots

This scarf makes everything super cute.  I would probably wear this on Christmas day.  The red is festive but the pants have enough stretch for lots of Christmas treats.  You could make it a little dressier by switching out the black skinny jeans for these ones.

Outfit 5
Outfit 5: black tee + black cardigan + charcoal fleece vest + pink scarf + dark wash skinny jeans + rain boots

This outfit is cute and comfy for a day of last minute Christmas shopping or for watching movies with the family.

Outfit 6
Outfit 6: chambray shirt + maroon sweater + black skinny jeans + cognac boots

This actually turned out to be one of my most favorite outfits of all.  It's really cute and warm and the chambray looks great under this ribbed knit sweater.

Outfit 7
Outfit 7: Rudolph sweatshirt + dark wash skinny jeans + rain boots

Rudolph was my favorite Christmas movie as a kid so it's no surprise that I love this sweatshirt that passes as a sweater.  I bought it in the junior's department at Walmart and it fit me really well, except that the sleeves were about two and a half inches too long.  So I shortened them!  It was my first experience with shortening sleeves but the cuffs made it easy and now I love how it fits.  There's a good chance it's going to rain on Christmas eve, so this might be my choice for that day.  I didn't take photos, but I think this also might look cute with black jeans and the chambray shirt under the sweatshirt.

My new coat!
And last is what I'll probably be wearing the most: my new coat!  I absolutely am in love with this coat.  It's the first time I've ever owned a coat that I felt was just beautiful.  On the left, I have it buttoned all the way up, with the hood up for those super cold nights.  On the right, I only buttoned the bottom half and then let the hood drape over my shoulders like a shawl.  That's why it's called the Draped-Hood Coat.  And after seeing how much it's listed as online, I'm pretty thrilled that I found it in store for only $74.99.

Stop back tomorrow for even more outfits from the same pieces!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Road Trip: Packing Clothes 1

Check out the other posts in this mini-series, if you haven't already.
Holiday Road Trip
Holiday Road Trip: Bags
Holiday Road Trip: Packing Toiletries
Holiday Road Trip: Makeup

For me, this is often the hardest part of trying to get ready for a trip.  I don't want to over pack but I want to have enough options to not feel frustrated when I'm there or be tempted to go out and buy a bunch of things.  I started by picking out a few of my favorite items that I wear the most often and that fit me really well.  I changed my mind on several items and went back and forth on a few things but above are pictured the things I ended up being satisfied with.  Then I used my iPad and created a Keynote presentation of all the outfits I could think of using these items as well as a few accessories like boots and scarves.  The cool thing about Keynote is that there is a feature called "Instant Alpha" where you can remove the background of a picture so it allows you to make really cool collages that give you a decent idea of how the outfits would look and how much you can mix and match pieces.  The pieces I decided on in the end were:

maroon crew neck sweater - Walmart
Shine Bright Rudolph sweatshirt - Walmart
red cardigan - Kohl's
heather grey cardigan - Kohl's
black cardigan - Banana Republic Factory
oatmeal crew neck sweater - Kohl's
chambray button down - Kohl's
charcoal fleece vest - Belk
black long sleeve tee - Kohl's
dark wash skinny jeans - Walmart
black skinny jeans - Walmart
black tee - Kohl's
white tee - Kohl's
dark wash jeggings - Walmart

These are the accessories I thought paired best with the clothing items I selected.

paisley umbrella - Target
pink scarf - H&M
burgundy infinity scarf - Target
green pashmina scarf - Walmart
black rain boots - Walmart
cognac boots - Belk
houndstooth and plaid scarf -

After I had used my iPad to create as many outfits as I could think of, I got to work trying on each outfit and photographing them to see how they looked in reality.  I was surprised that some of the outfits I liked the most in my collage didn't work so well in real life and others that were only okay turned out to be my favorites.  Check back tomorrow to see the seven outfits I liked best!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Road Trip: Makeup

Welcome back for another post in my Holiday Road Trip mini-series!  Here's a recap of the posts so far:

The first few times I traveled back to Pennsylvania after moving to Florida, I took an entire train case of makeup back with me.  After getting a little more mature and a little more realistic, I know can fit all my makeup and my brushes and supplies into this little Modella bag that I got a few years ago at Walmart.  I searched their website, but couldn't find a similar one to link to but I'm sure they have lots of sizes and shapes in stores.

When you open up the main bag, there is a lid with a zippered pouch.  The pouch is great for small items.  In mine I have Carmex lip balm, two eye liners, and tweezers.  On top of my makeup is another bag, which holds my brushes and other supplies.

This black bag came from a large Caboodles kit very similar to this one that I bought a few years ago.  It's perfect for holding brushes and can even accommodate full size eye brushes but you'll need short face brushes because those tend to be longer.  I was able to fit every brush that I use on an everyday basis.  The bottom of this bag also has more storage.

Inside I have a small microfiber cloth, which I mostly use to wipe makeup off my hands.  Under that, I have my eyelash curler, some travel size and sample size perfumes (the large one is Cherry Vanilla and I honestly have no idea what the little one is), Q-tips, and a mascara wand.  I usually toss a travel size pack of tissues in there too but I didn't have any on hand when I took this picture.

If you remove the black bag, my makeup is stashed underneath.  There are two reasons for storing the black bag inside.  #1 It takes up less space than storing them separately.  #2 It gives my makeup some added padding so it doesn't smack around inside the case.  For this trip, I tried to really keep things minimal because I know I'm going to be really busy.  I just packed my favorites and tried to stick to makeup that would work with any outfit.  Here's what I'm bringing:

Jane Blush in Blushing Petal - This is not necessarily a favorite blush but it's a rosy shade that is close to my natural flush color and matte.  It goes with everything and perks up your face while still looking natural.
Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Face Powder in Translucent Light - I've been using this ever since my beloved Healthy Wear powder was discontinued and I ran out.  I don't like it as much just because it creates a lot of dust when applied but it works just as well.  I wear it as my foundation on a daily basis.
NYX Eyeshadow Singles in Dark Brown and Bare My Soul - Dark Brown is actually a medium dark brown and Bare My Soul is a matte taupe.  They make a perfect natural look when combined with a matte highlight.
Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Mascara in Classic Black - My favorite go-to mascara.  Although after looking at the forecast of rain, rain, rain I'll probably end up packing the waterproof version of this as well.
Pixi Brightening Peach Correction Concentrate - I've been using this to hide my dark circles which will definitely be bad when I'm running on less sleep than usual during my trip.
Wet N Wild Shadow Single in Brulee - A wonderful matte highlight that I use almost every day.
Hard Candy Shadow Duo in High Maintenance - One of my favorite shadows ever.  Super versatile and looks great with my green eyes.  Dramatic without being over the top.  Easy to apply.
Maybelline Super Stay 24Hr Concealer - My skin has been pretty clear lately but travel often causes me to break out.  I'll bring it just in case but hopefully I don't need it!
Travel Size Too Faced Shadow Insurance - I save this specifically for travel since it's so small.
(In the zippered pouch:)
Carmex Lip Balm - My lips tend to get really chapped when I'm in the cold.
Hard Candy Glamoflauge Concealer Pencil - I like to use this on the lower waterline when I'm really tired to perk my eyes up.  When I'm at home for a short time, I often don't get much sleep.
Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Espresso - Fairly new to me, bought just for this trip since it doesn't require a pencil sharpener.  Now I'm in love and I've used it every day since I bought it.  Can also double as a liner for the lower waterline if I want a more dramatic look.

Last but not least, I always pack a travel mirror.  I have this one and it's nothing fancy but it does the trick for traveling.  I like that it has the magnified side too so I can still pluck my uni brow while traveling.  I don't want to look like this in my holiday photos.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Road Trip: Packing Toiletries

If you missed any of the previous posts in this mini-series, you can find them here:

To me, packing toiletries is one of the most annoying parts of traveling.  It's those items that are necessary but no fun and take up quite a bit of space, at least for me.  I've found over the years, a few things that are helpful for me.

1. Invest in useful toiletry bags.  Now this might be different for each person, depending on your needs.  I've found that the two pictured above are perfect for me and even though I have tons of these types of bags, I always come back to these two.  The zebra striped Modella valet bag I purchased at Walmart a few years ago.  Second is a bag that came free with a Venus razor kit ages ago.  [similar here]  I really like this Venus bag because it is virtually spill proof and it is large enough to fit a full size bottle of shampoo, or lots of small items.  Generally, in this bag I keep items that might leak and items that I will unpack onto the sink or into the shower once I arrive.  In the hanging bag, I keep items that I don't want to leave out (like dental floss) but still need quick access to.  We stay with my in-laws and they have wire shelves in the linen closet in the bathroom that we use so I can hang the hook inside the closet and easily get to anything I need.

Inside of Venus bag
One great thing about the Venus bag is how wide the pouches are on either side.  They easily are wide enough for large bottles which means there is no struggle to zip up the sides.  Then the whole things zips around again.

Modella valet, unrolled
The disadvantage of this Modella valet is that if you stuff it too full, the zippers will still zip but it won't velcro shut when you roll it.  Or if it does velcro, it becomes huge.  I find it works well for things like floss, makeup remover wipes, and other smaller items that get lost easily and need to be organized.

2. Invest in travel size.  I'm not saying you have to buy every item in the travel size aisle because sometimes that costs way more than the full size.  I find the reusable bottles are great for transferring things like face wash, shampoo, and conditioner from the full size bottle.  You can even use empty prescription bottles, contact cases, or other containers.  I save small jars like those that store gel eyeliner or my Pixi Correction Concentrate because they make great containers for things like my Bed Head After Party hair product.  Save space and save money by recycling!  Things I usually buy in prepackaged travel size include shave gel and hair products.  Sally Beauty Supply is a great place to get travel size hair products.  I also found my favorite dry shampoo, Salon Grafix Invisible Dry Shampoo in travel size at CVS.  While it's a bit pricey, it will save me a ton of space and weight in my bag to downsize these products.

And don't forget to come back tomorrow for some information on how I pack my makeup!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Road Trip: Bags

This is part 1 in my holiday road trip mini-series.  If you missed the intro yesterday, you can read that post here.

The two main bags that I typically pack are these two: a rolling luggage suitcase and a duffle bag.  This red suitcase is new.  The zipper on my old suitcase broke last Christmas after stuffing my bag much fuller than it should have.  In this bag, I pack the majority of my clothes and any extra shoes I need for my trip.

The second bag I use is a Fila duffle bag, which I like to think of as my overnight bag.  I use this to carry my toiletries, blow dryer, hair straightner, and pajamas/lounge clothes.  This makes it really easy if we run into bad weather on the trip and are forced to stay at a hotel overnight.  Luckily, that hasn't happened yet but it also comes in handy if we arrive in Pennsylvania really late at night.  If we're tired and don't feel like unpacking the entire car, I can just grab this bag and leave my large suitcase until the morning.  I have everything I need to shower and go to bed that night.

Don't forget to stop back in tomorrow for another holiday road trip post!  Tomorrow I'll be talking about my favorite bags for packing toiletries.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Road Trip

Like many other people, my husband and I will be taking a road trip back home for the holidays.  While I love being able to see my family, I despise the fourteen hour (on a good day, which never seems to happen) car ride, trying to figure out what to pack for a climate I am not used to at all anymore, and living out of a suitcase for a week.  It stresses me out every time.  The pin above shows exactly how I feel the weeks leading up to any trip.  I seriously started stressing about what to pack for this trip in October.  I decided I'm going to do a week-long series of posts on how and what I pack, in hopes that I might be able to help others who are having the same issue and maybe that I could also learn something along the way.

Stop back in tomorrow for a post on the bags I use when I travel and if you have any tips on how you pack for a week long road trip, please feel free to share!  I need all the help I can get.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Something to Smile About

Yesterday I went to the orthodontist for an adjustment.  I had pretty much given up on asking them how long I had left in braces because for the last three years, every time I'd ask I would get the same answer, "About another year".  But after three years in a row of that answer, I just stopped asking.  But I knew when my parents and family saw me for the fourth Christmas in a row with braces, everyone would be grilling me about when I saw going to get those braces off.  So I finally bit the bullet and asked the orthodontist for an estimate.  Here's how the conversation went:

Me: Do you have any idea when I might be able to get my braces off?
Ortho: Hmmm.... May.
Me: MAY?!?!  Like this May, or May two years from now?
Ortho: (taken aback) No, this May.
Me: Are you serious?!
Ortho: Yes, you're making good progress.  Now that's not a guarantee but if things keep going the way they are now, May.
Me: Oh my goodness, you just made my day!
Ortho: You made my day!  Normally my patients are never this happy!  At first I thought you were upset.
Me: Are you kidding?  You just gave me an awesome Christmas present!  You're the best!

So then we were both laughing and suddenly I have something to smile about again.  So this morning after taking my outfit photos (which I will post another day), I had to stop and take some smiley pictures to share my news.  And after editing these photos, I finally see what the orthodontist is talking about.  When I look in the mirror, the remaining gap looks huge to me.  In pictures, it's barely noticeable.  Can you tell?  The photo below was one I tried to take specifically to show the gap that's left and while it does appear a bit larger in person (to me at least), I think it's really hard to see in these pictures.

And last, I have a picture I took this morning side by side with a picture from my first few days in braces.  I'm loving the progress so far and really excited to see what happens in the next sixth months.  How much easier it would be to floss without a metal fence in my mouth!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

One Year Ago Today

Awhile back, I remembered seeing on Franish a repost of something she wore one year ago.  I thought that was a fun idea so I jumped on the bandwagon.  (You can find my original post here.)  It might not have been exactly a year ago, but it was pretty much the same week in December so close enough, I say.  Everything in this outfit is the same except for the boots, which the ones I was wearing last year got returned because they were so uncomfortable.  Not these ones!  These are keepers.

Also, I like to think of this as my safari outfit.  I think I need one of these hats though.  Then it would be a costume.

oatmeal sweater: Kohl's
olive vest: J.C. Penney
leopard scarf: Walmart
black jeggings: Walmart
cognac boots: Belk [exact]

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Your Favorite Nail Art Technique

By far, my favorite nail art technique is stamping.  It's easy, it's relatively quick (as far as nail art goes), and it's pretty cheap and easy.  You don't need a lot of fancy equipment and it almost always turns out looking really cute.  This manicure did not disappoint!

After applying a base coat, I used one (yup, just one) coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Grease Lightening.  In this photo, it's coming off a little more navy blue than in real life.  In real life, it's a blue toned dark gray creme but no matter how I tried, I couldn't get it to photograph accurately.

Next, I used Pure Ice Outrageous to stamp over it.  I fell in love with the coffee images on the Cheeky Jumbo Home Sweet Home plate and I haven't used any of them yet so I knew that they were going to be making an appearance.  I used the full nail image of the smiley coffee cups and just stamped the littler cup onto my pinky.  My nails were all nubbins when I did this manicure so it was hard to get much more than just one cup to show up but I still think this turned out adorable!  Makes me want a cup of coffee!  I topped it all off with a top coat, which I was sloppy with and smeared the pinky a bit but it's all good.

Monday, December 8, 2014

November Purchases Round Up

Well as far as saving money this month, I totally failed but I felt like I made much better decisions in my purchases compared to September and October.  Instead of just purchasing things that I liked, I tried to really think about what I needed or what would really get used a lot.  Other than one item, I feel pretty good about my choices.

1. black skinny jeans, Walmart: I needed some new pants to wear with boots and these can also double as slacks for work.  Also, they turned out to be rather comfortable, since they have so much stretch.
2. navy long sleeve tee, Walmart: I desperately needed to replace the lounge wear I hang out in at my house.
3. grey beanie, 4. grey ear warmer, 5. grey touch screen gloves, all from Walmart: I needed some new cold weather accessories and these were only $2 each.  Of course, as soon as I bought these, I found all my old gloves and hats.  So I donated them to some needy kiddos.  :)
6. grey polar fleece vest, Belk: I bought this for my Christmas trip this month because it went with pretty much all my other pieces I planned on packing.
7. black and pink rain boots, Walmart: You can read all about that story here.
8. yoga pants, Kohl's: As I said, I was in need of new lounge wear.  I wear my yoga pants every weekend and every day after work.  My old ones literally had come apart at the crotch seams this summer but I had sewn them back together as a temporary solution until I could find the perfect pair of lounge pants.  These were it.  They cost a little more than I wanted to spend, but for as much as I will wear them, I know I'll get my money's worth.

9. pink scoop neck sweater, Walmart: This was the one item I regret buying.  It was an impulse buy based on the fact that I have other sweaters like this one that I love and this one was pink.  However, this one fits a little different than the others and is a little big on me.  Should have resisted the urge to buy something that wasn't planned or needed.
10. black long sleeve tee, 12. grey long sleeve tee, both from Kohl's: These were basic pieces that were on my list of wants.  I think they'll prove to be easy to style and wear in lots of different ways.  Great for layering.
11. navy cardigan, 13. red cardigan, both from Kohl's: These are both replacements for other cardigans that I since got rid of.  I'm thrilled to now have cardigans that are petite and actually fit me correctly.  It's great not having to roll up the sleeves of my sweaters for once!

14. Purple Fig Draped Hood Coat, Banana Republic Factory: This was obviously what cost me the most, but after seeing that I paid far less than what this coat is listed as online, I'm pretty proud of the deal I got at the outlet by my house.  Also, I'm thrilled to finally have a winter coat that looks  like it belongs to an adult and actually fits me correctly.  I'm a sissy when it comes to the cold and even in Florida, I know I'll wear this coat enough times to make it worth the money.  Also, it will be great on my trip to Pittsburgh for Christmas.  No more freezing my behind off in my cheap old coat that was three sizes too big for me.  A snugger fit seems to do a lot better at keeping me warm.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Inspired by a Blogger

Today's nail challenge is inspired by a blogger.  I was actually pretty much going to copy this manicure from The Nailasaurus but for some reason, I could not get that image to transfer.  I have the exact same plate but I could not make it work.  I tried different stamping polishes, different stampers, different scrapers, and still couldn't get it to work!  Finally I decided this word search stamp was close enough.

After a base coat, I used two coats of Sally Hansen Insta- Dri Presto Pink.  After that, I stamped with an old thickened bottle of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On.  The image can be found on Bundle Monster plate BM415.  I topped it all off with a coat of NYC Grand Central Station.

I don't know what my problem was with stamping today but my pinky was the only finger that was easy to stamp.  Every other one, I struggled to get the image to transfer to the stamper.  I only ended up doing these four fingers and then I got so frustrated that I just gave up.  I figured at least it was enough to be able to photograph but oh my gosh, too much work.

This was pretty but definitely not worth the effort!  I've got to figure out what I'm doing wrong with stamping.  Normally the only problem I have is that I never seem to stamp it straight but I've never really had issues with getting the image to transfer.