Friday, March 31, 2017

Outfits of the Week: March 27 - 31

I'm so happy with my wardrobe right now!  I really love my blouses and blazers and getting dressed for work has been easy and enjoyable.  Getting out of bed at five in the morning is a whole other story but at least part of my morning is pleasant!  Let's break down what I wore to work each day this week.

I loved this outfit! I actually only wore this blazer because I knew I had an optometrist appointment after work and that after my appointment I was going to stop by the mall. While at the mall my plan was to buy some blazers at Papaya (successful haul here!) and I wanted to sort of test drive that style of blazer to see if I might want to buy more in different colors. Well they didn't have any of that style in my size but I found several others that I ended up loving! Blazers are a great way to dress up just about any outfit and I've really been enjoying wearing them lately. 

cadet blue tie neck blouse - Papaya 
black striped cuff sleeve blazer - Papaya 
black buckle belt - Beall's Outlet
light fawn essential chinos - Amazon
black cap toe pointed flats - Payless

This day I had to give a presentation to our elementary school principals so I wanted to look professional and put together. I pretty much just copied Monday's outfit with different (but nearly identical) pieces. Tie neck blouse, blazer, chinos, belt, pointed flats. So easy but so cute!  I felt really confident in this outfit for my big presentation.

pink floral tie neck blouse - Papaya
white striped cuff sleeve blazer - Papaya 
wine belt - Dress Barn
mineral blue essential chinos - Amazon 
taupe pointed toe flats - Payless 

Do you ever select your outfits based on what you have going on that day? I often find myself doing that. This day I had a casual meeting with a colleague to discuss a project. I knew I was going to be in my super frigid office all day do I wanted to wear a cardigan that would keep me warm and comfy. This outfit fit the bill while still being professional. 

black and white polka dot choker tie blouse - Papaya 
blue cardigan - Kohl's 
black owl cardigan clip - made by me
black buckle belt - Beall's Outlet
boulder grey essential chinos - Amazon 
black buckle flats - Rack Room Shoes

These shoes are so fun!  I love how they're dressy while still being kind of fun and funky.  And for ten bucks?  Yup!  I got several compliments from both men and women saying that they liked the shoes and thought they were cool.  They add a bit of spice to an otherwise kind of plain outfit... besides the neon pink blouse!

neon pink blouse - Papaya
gold and black tassel necklace - Papaya (came with the shirt)
grey cardigan - Kohl's
black buckle belt - Beall's Outlet
black essential chinos - Amazon
grey faux snakeskin and suede pointed toe flats - Payless

It's finally Friday!  This weekend I plan on shortening the hem on two blazers I have.  I could live with the length of both but I think I'd like the fit just a bit more if they were a few inches shorter on me.  I've never tried to hem a blazer before so we'll see how it goes!  Luckily, they are unlined so it shouldn't be too big of a job.

burgundy floral blouse - Papaya
navy cardigan - Kohl's
brown and gold compass cardigan clip - made by me
brown buckle belt - Beall's Outlet
moss essential chinos - Amazon
brown buckle flats - Rack Room Shoes

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Blazer Haul! (+ Some Shoes)

In last week's clothing haul post, I talked about how I was on the hunt for blouses, blazers or cardigans, shoes, and an affordable leather belt.  I shared photos of the many blouses that I found but at the time, I had only found one blazer and no shoes or belt.  Yesterday, while my eyes were dilated from my optometrist exam, I stopped by the local mall to see what they had, since I was still under budget for my shopping money that I had set aside.  I figured a little blazer shopping was in order while my pupils went back to normal.  And I hit the haul jackpot!  I found four great blazers and also a pair of shoes.

Classic Essential Blazer in Navy
from Papaya

I love this having a blazer in navy!  And since it's such stretchy fabric, it's quite comfortable.  This one might be a bit longer than I would have liked both in the torso and the sleeves.  The sleeves will be an easy fix.  Since the blazer is not lined, I can just shorten the hem on the sleeves.  I'm not sure if I would be able to do the same with the torso but if not, I can still live with the length.

Draped Open Front Blazer in White
from Papaya

I wasn't positive about this blazer at first but when I tried it on, I instantly realized that its value would really come out this summer.  It's incredibly lightweight and thin which will be perfect to toss on over a blouse or dress this summer for when I want to look a bit more professional without adding a heavy layer.  And when I saw that it was on sale at my local store, I grabbed it up for less than I would normally pay for a shirt.

Single Button Stripe Roll-Up Sleeve Blazer in Medium Gray
from Papaya

I tried on this same blazer in store several weeks ago and I just wasn't sure about it.  I decided to try it on again and this time I knew the answer was yes.  I actually am now wondering how I was ever unsure about this because the fit was great!  However, when the sleeves are rolled all the way down, they are way too long but that cute stripe detail was meant to be shown off anyway!  And I was surprised how comfortable this blazer was.  I'm really happy to have a grey blazer.  I think it will look great with so many different colors of pants or skirts: black, navy, olive, or any colored pant too.  I can't wait to wear this with lots of different things!

Single Button Stripe Roll-Up Sleeve Blazer in White
from Papaya

This white blazer is thicker and more dressy than the other white one I bought.  It's the same style as the grey.  I was a little worried at first that the little spot on the lapel was a stain but I hand washed it in the sink last night after taking these photos and the spot came right out.  I actually wore this blazer to work today for a presentation I had to give to principals and I love the way it looked!  I felt really put together and cute without feeling like I looked stuffy.  Stay tuned later this week for outfit photos of me wearing this blazer and probably others too!

Pointed Loafer in Grey Snakeskin & Faux Suede
from Papaya

The one item that doesn't really fit the blazer theme of this haul: shoes!  These shoes were a lot like the grey blazer... I've looked at them and tried them on before but passed on them at the time because I ended up getting the plain taupe shade of this same shoe instead, thinking they would go with more outfits.  When I came back and these were still there and now on clearance for only ten bucks, I bit the bullet and bought them.  I'm already looking forward to wearing them with the grey blazer!  Snakeskin is not my favorite but they certainly add an interesting detail to an outfit.  And I know the taupe ones I have are really comfortable so hopefully these will be too.  It helps that they come in wide sizes.

So there you have it!  Guess who's going on a spending ban for a little while now?  LOL!  But in all honesty, I'm really glad that I found so much of what I was looking for and I feel like I'm in a really good place with my wardrobe right now.  It's so much more fun getting dressed for work in the morning when you're excited about what you're wearing!  I've really been feeling good in my clothes lately and thinking that I look put together definitely makes me feel happier and more confident.  It's amazing what a difference clothes make!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Overnight Waves

I have been absolutely loving wearing my hair in waves lately.  That's because I figured out a way to get beautiful waves that last in my hair just by setting it overnight!  No heat required here!  And the total time it takes to do this hairstyle is less than five minutes for me.  That's right up this lazy girl's alley!  Now I'm here to show you how I get my naturally straight hair to have beautiful overnight waves that last.

First, let's start out with the items that are essential to this look.  First, you'll need a sea salt spray, which will give your hair some grip to hold in the style while you sleep, especially if your hair texture is naturally very fine, soft, and slippery like mine.  I like the Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray but I've tried others in the past that also worked.  You'll also need hairspray to set the style when you take it out and two elastics of some sort to hold the style in place while you sleep.  I really like the Invisibobble Nano because they hold the hair really well without leaving a dent or kink in the bottom that I have to then flat iron out.  But an elastic would work in a pinch as well.

1. While my hair is still damp, I like to add a few products.  This is totally optional but I have very fine, flat hair so I use a lot of products to bulk it up and add volume.  The first product is a mousse to add volume to the roots.  The second is a heat protectant to keep my hair from getting damaged when blow drying.  Also, occasionally when I style my hair like this, a few small pieces may not wave as well as the others and in the morning, I use a curling iron to quickly make them blend in with the rest of the hair.  If you don't like to use a lot of products, feel free to skip to the next step.

2. Makeup-less face!  You'll want to start off with clean, dry hair so I had just washed my hair for the night here.  You can air dry it (depending on your hair's natural texture) or blow dry it but it needs to be about 90% dry for this style.  You can see how naturally straight my hair is in this photo.

3. Separate your hair into two sections: left and right.  Then clip one side away.  You can use your hair elastic for this or a clip.

4. Starting with one side, spray the hair with the sea salt spray until it's about 80% dry.  Use your fingers to comb through and distribute the product.  Make sure to get the ends too so your nano or elastic will stay in the hair while you sleep and not slide off.

5. Now divide the hair in half again.  I separate a section in front of my ears and then behind my ears.  Try to make sure there is about the same amount of hair in each section.

6. Then twist your hair in each section going away from your face.  This will create the pretty waves you'll see the next morning so you'll want to be sure they go away from your face for the most flattering look.

7. This next part got really fun trying to photograph this with both of my hands occupied so I had to get my shutter remote to help me!  You twist the second section of hair away from your face as well.  I hold the front with one hand while I twist and hold the back section with the other.

8. Next, twist the two sections around each other going toward your face.  This will basically just help the twists stay together.  It is imperative that they go in the opposite direction that you twisted before or else they will just totally unravel.

9. Secure the end with your nano and this is what your little rope braid should look like.

10. Now repeat the process on the other half of your hair.  When you're finished, you should feel like you're eight years old again.  😆

11. I like to spray the outside of each rope braid with a little bit more sea salt spray, just to be sure it holds.  This time I avoid the section where the nano is so as not to make a visible dent in the hair there.  And now you're ready to go to sleep!

12. This is what my hair looks like the next morning.

13. Take the nanos out.  You'll still have four distinct twists.  Use your fingers to gently comb through them and shake the waves out.

14. And this is what it looks like when I first let it all out.  I usually finish getting ready and the waves will loosen a bit.  If there are any pieces that came loose from the rope braid without getting waved, then I'll quickly wrap just the middle of the hair around a one inch curling iron so it all blends in.  Some days I have to curl a couple of pieces and some days it's all good.

15. Finally, I add in some product.  I like to use the Not Your Mother's Double Take Dry Finish Texture Spray on my roots.  It just gives some volume to my flat fine hair, which is especially limp at the top.  I also like to use Bed Head TIGI After Party on my ends.  They're not in the best of shape right now and this makes them shiny and healthier looking.  These two steps are optional depending on your hair but I would definitely recommend not skipping the next step, which is to set the style with a flexible hold hairspray so it lasts all day but is still touchable.

16. And here's the final look!  I love how carefree and pretty these waves are!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Weekly Goal Update: Mar 19 - 25

March 19 - 25

Twelve weeks marked off the 2017 calendar!  This was an absolutely fantastic week for me with a mini Spring Break included.  I worked Monday and Tuesday but had the rest of the week off and it was so wonderful.  I was really busy, did lots of fun stuff, and ate a bit too much junk food.  Let's take a look back in this weekly goal update.

1. Make healthier food choices.
✅  This was definitely not my strongest area this week but looking back on my food photos, I guess I did okay at least while I was eating at home.

2. Exercise five days a week for thirty minutes (or a total of 150 minutes per week, 2.5 hours).

✅  I'm kind of proud to say that this was one of my strongest areas this week.  I was so active during my days off and it really added up to a lot of exercise.  I walked so many miles this week!

Sunday: --
Monday: 35 minute outdoor walk
Tuesday: 38 minute outdoor walk
Wednesday: 64 minute outdoor walk
Thursday: 36 minute outdoor walk
Friday: 66 minute outdoor walk
Saturday: --

Total time: 3 hours, 59 minutes

3. Get 10,000 steps six days a week.
✅  Kicked this goal's butt!  Not only did I get 10,000 steps seven days this week, but there were several days I got well over 10,000 steps as well.  And holy cow, look at Wednesday!  I got twice as many steps as my goal and set a new personal record for most steps in a day.  And I even earned the New Zealand badge in the FitBit app!  In total, I racked up a whopping 91,856 steps this week, equal to 35.14 miles or 56.6 kilometers.  I'm feeling like a bit of a rockstar in this department!

4. Go to sleep earlier.
🚫 Goal: Weeknights between 9:00PM and 9:30PM
My actual average bed time for weeknights was 10:09:53PM.  This week was a little weird because I only had to get up at 5:00 two mornings.  One morning I woke up at 6:00 and every other day I got to sleep in as late as I wanted.  But I still missed the mark by a bit on the days I needed to get up early.

🚫  Goal: Weekends between 10:00PM and 10:30PM
My actual average bed time for weekends was 11:15:34PM.  I did okay most of the time I was off but the night I was in Orlando, I didn't get to bed until 12:30 because we got back so late.  This week is definitely going to be a bit hard to get back into the routine of going to bed early and getting up early.

5. Leave some wiggle room.
✅  Oh Spring Break, we had a good time, didn't we?!?  LOL!  Having time off from work means having time to actually socialize and how do people socialize?  We eat!  I went out to eat so much this week and some times I was good and got a grilled chicken salad and some times I just felt like I wanted junk.  For the most part, I was much more active than usual so I didn't feel too terribly bad about eating a little more unhealthy.  But I know I can't make this a habit.  #springbreakcaloriesdontcount #wishthatwasactuallytrue 😆

6. Progress towards goal?
🚫  Once again, I didn't lose any weight but I didn't gain any weight either!  I'm actually pretty shocked about that because for most of the week I was weighing in about a pound and a half more than last week.  But I think a lot of it was the water I was retaining from all the salty foods I was eating.  Next week I need to eat healthier and try to not gain any weight from all the indulging I did this week.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Outfits of the Week: March 20 - 24

This week's outfits were a mix of work and casual.  I worked Monday and Tuesday but was off for the rest of the week for a little Spring Break fun.  It was a great week!  #springbreak


I don't know why, but I've really been getting more into black and white blouses lately.  I think they're just easy to style.  Wear them with black pants and a colored cardigan or with colored pants and a black or white cardigan and you have an instant outfit.  This one has a really cute design that looks sort of like little bow ties!

black and white blouse - Kohl's
black cardigan - Banana Republic Factory
black sparkle cardigan clip - made by me
black buckle belt - Beall's Outlet
cabernet essential chinos - Amazon
black cap toe pointed flats - Payless


This outfit had to work double duty.  I worked all day and then went to the movies with some friends to see Beauty and the Beast (❤️ ed it!!) and went to dinner afterwards.  And everyone loved the cute owls on the cardigan clip!

cobalt blouse - Kohl's [almost identical]
charcoal cardigan - Papaya
black owls cardigan clip - made by me
black buckle belt - Beall's Outlet
black essential chinos - Amazon
black cap toe pointed flats - Payless

I decided to take the day off Wednesday and go shopping!  My friend M and I had been planning to do a trip to Orlando on Thursday of this week for a while, since we had Thursday and Friday off from work.  Our plan was to hit the outlet mall and then head over to the Florida Mall.  Then this week the forecast decided that the only day it was going to rain was Thursday, ruining our outdoor outlet mall plans.  Since it was Spring Break for all the teachers and students in the school district where we both work, we decided to just take Wednesday off (it was super slow anyway) and take our trip then!  I picked out clothes that would be easy to change into and out of when trying on stuff and sneakers because I knew we would be doing a ton of walking.  I got in over 21,000 steps or 8.03 miles (12.9 km) this day!  These Nikes are awesome and come in wide sizes.  My feet didn't hurt at all!

blue cat print tee - a gift from my lovely friend Laura!
denim capris - Kohl's
Nike revolution 3 - Famous Footwear


On Thursday I decided that since I had the day off, I would go for a long walk and then do some shopping for a couple of items I didn't find on Wednesday.  This is what I wore for both walking and shopping.  I wanted something that was comfortable to walk a long way but also presentable so I wouldn't have to change.  Enter in sneakers, comfy pants, and a tee.

cobalt boyfriend tee - JC Penney via Beall's Outlet
black convertible pants - Kohl's
Nike revolution 3 - Famous Footwear


On Friday, hubby and I had a walking day date.  By that I mean that the majority of our date during the day was spent walking.  We like to park at our local public library, stop in to the bookstore inside of it where they sell $4 books, and then walk the 1.5 miles to downtown.  On this trip, we stopped into a little Greek restaurant and shared an appetizer of fresh pita bread with three different dips: tzatziki, hummus, and melitzanosalata.  I wanted to wear something that was cool, casual, and cute.  Since we were doing so much walking, I stuck to wearing my Keds.  They're less bulky than running shoes.  Still, this outfit would have definitely been cuter with a pair of sandals but this is about posting what I actually wore, not what looks best.  Also, yes, these are the same pants I wore on Wednesday.

floral print kimono - Papaya
olive green tee - Vanity Fair Clearance Outlet
mixed metal leaves cardigan clip - made by me
wine belt - Dress Barn
denim capris - Kohl's
black on black Keds - Amazon

And because I actually went out and did interesting things this week with other people, here are some bonus pictures of me wearing Wednesday's and Friday's outfits.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Clothing Haul

In Sunday's blog post, I mentioned that I was going to Orlando this week to do some shopping with my friend.  And shop we did!  And then I did some more shopping the next day.  Now I'm here to share my clothing haul with you all!  I was on the hunt for: blouses, blazers or cardigans, shoes, and an affordable leather belt.  I didn't find everything I was looking for, but I did find a lot of things!  Let's start with what I found at Papaya, my favorite store for finding blouses for work.  I actually shopped three different Papaya locations.  I was pleased to find that each location seemed to have something different to offer!  In addition to Papaya, I bought some items from Vanity Fair Outlet.

Neon Pink Blouse
from Papaya
I love this incredibly bright pink blouse.  Even the camera wasn't picking up just how electric and neon this blouse is.  Pink is my favorite color and this bold shade makes a statement for sure.  Also, the necklace is removable and I actually really like it!  It's really simple and I like the black tassels.  This will make a great work blouse.

White Ruffle Sleeve Blouse
from Papaya
Recently, I got rid of my old white blouse, as it was not very white any more.  This simple blouse with ruffled sleeve detail is the replacement.  It's always nice to have a plain white blouse, as it's a great staple piece in my work wardrobe.

Floral Print Kimono
from Papaya
This is one item that was not at all on my shopping list but I decided sort of impulsively that I needed it.  I've wanted a kimono for awhile now and could never find one that looked decent on my petite frame but this one was just so cute.  Hubby and I have a date day planned for tomorrow and I thought this would be really adorable.  I really don't have a lot of casual clothes for things like date night so I either have to wear my super casual clothes that I only wear on the weekends to workout or I have to wear my work blouses.  I thought this kimono would be a good middle ground.  I could wear it with a tank top or tee for date night or I could pair it with a blouse for work.  I also loved how many different colors make up the floral print.  It could be paired with so many other things: navy, olive, peach, berry, black, and more!

Pink Floral Print Tie Neck Blouse
from Papaya
I have this same blouse in several different prints and colors and I just seem to love every one they make!  The tie neck adds a pretty detail that looks lovely with blazers and the fit is really nice on me.  I haven't met one yet that I didn't love!

Black and White Choker Tie Blouse
from Papaya
This is another blouse that has a tie neck but this one is more like a choker once it's tied.  I'm not sure I love the choker look for work but it would be cute untied as well.  And when it's tied I think it would make a nice date night blouse so it can work double duty.  Also, I find that black and white blouses are really easy to style either by combining with a colored cardigan or colored pants.

Striped Cuff Black Blazer
from Papaya
I used to have this same blazer several years ago and I loved it.  Then I ended up getting rid of it during a closet purge because there was awhile where I just stopped wearing blazers.  I really wish now that I hadn't gotten rid of it because I've been enjoying wearing blazers lately.  This one is great because it's not too formal so it's easy to style.  And I also like that you can roll the cuffs down and just have a plain black blazer.  I'm glad to see they are carrying these blazers once again because I plan on buying them up as I find different colors in my size. 

Burgundy Floral Blouse
from Papaya
I am an absolute sucker for anything burgundy and this blouse had the lovely advantage of also being a beautiful floral print and on sale.  I think this blouse would look great with a blazer.  I also think it would look fantastic with just about any color of pants: black, grey, khaki, navy, olive, brown.  You name it and it would look great!

Dried Mulberry Zipper Detail Blouse
from Vanity Fair Outlet
This blouse (as well as the one below) are simple but I love the detail in the back.  There is a pretty exposed gold zipper.  I also like that among the many busy and loud blouses that I purchased, I was also able to find a couple of simple ones that I like.  It's nice to have a mix of both.  Also, I thought this blouse was a unique color and it also coordinates very well with the floral print kimono.  I think they would be really cute together with some skinny black ankle pants for work.  That may be the next item on my shopping list!

Navy Zipper Detail Blouse
from Vanity Fair Outlet
Same blouse as above but in navy.  Again, this color would also work well with the kimono.  I think this would look great with a blazer as well.

Navy Tank Top
from Vanity Fair Clearance Outlet
After stocking up on all sorts of work things, I thought it would be a good idea to pick up a couple of casual pieces that I could pair with my floral print kimono as well.  But I don't always want to pay a lot for things I know I can't wear to work since most of the time if I'm getting dressed, it's to go to work.  I found this cute navy tank top that will make for great casual wear for less than three bucks.  Good deal and I'm sure I'll get plenty of wear out of this as the temperatures heat up this spring.

Olive Green Tee
from Vanity Fair Clearance Outlet
This green tee was also less than three bucks and will go very well with my kimono.  I'm always looking for simple casual tees.  Whenever I go shopping, I'm always wearing a simple tee because it's easy to change into and out of when trying on clothes.  This one brings out my green eyes and makes them shine.

That's it for my haul!  Lots of new stuff for work and a few items that will make good weekend wear as well.  I can't wait to post some outfits with these pieces on the blog in the coming weeks so stay tuned for that to happen soon!