Monthly Archives: May 2014

Budgeting Bloggers // May 2014

You guys, it’s time. Time to start budgeting. I think I’ve always needed a budget, but I’ve never implemented one because it’s never been a serious problem. Well…now I’m literally unemployed, and our rent will be almost three times what our mortgage in Indiana was. So…it’s time.

I’ve always enjoyed reading other bloggers’ budget posts, mainly to see what they’ve purchased and to steal gather inspiration. Additionally, I like seeing how cleverly they stay under budget (or, sometimes more realistically, their excuses for why they’ve gone over budget). Therefore, I’m taking the plunge and joining Fran in her Budgeting Bloggers Brigade (I made up the brigade part).

I didn’t have a budget for May, so I’m not really over or under any dollar amount; however, I’m using this post as a way to round up my purchases to gauge how much I’m really spending. This will help me come up with a figure in the next coming months, which may flucuate, depending on when I get a job. So, here are my May purchases. One thing I feel I must note is that this is going to look like an ad for H&M, as most of my purchases were from there. The reason for this is because H&M (and Zara) is the closest shop within walking distance from my hotel, so it’s really the only place I went this month. I don’t normally shop there that much, and this post is NOT sponsored by anyone! 🙂

may 2014 budget

 

What I Bought
1. H&M gold braided belt // 5.95
2. H&M lime braided belt // 5.95 (not pictured – worn here)
3. H&M leopard print scarf // 6.95
4. H&M fit and flare dress // 24.95
5. Zara black/white striped tank // 9.90
6. Zara grey/white striped tank // 9.90 (not pictured)
7. H&M black belt // 5.95
8. H&M floral ballet flats // 12.95 (worn here)
9. Target yellow beach tote // 9.99
10. H&M jeweled ballet flats // 24.95 (worn here)
11. H&M white sweater // 34.95 (worn here)
12. H&M striped wedges // 34.95 (worn here)
13. Zara printed t-shirt // 24.90 (not pictured because I literally could not find it on the internet)
—————
Total Spent = $209 (nothing was on sale)
Most of these items were purchases on only two separate trips (more like sprees). Living in a hotel has left me reallllly bored, so I definitely went a little overboard; however, I did find a few staples that I’ve been wanting/needing, such as the leopard scarf, skinny black belt, and floral ballet flats. It’s helpful for me to know that I spent around $200 this past month. I definitely should not be spending that much money per month, but I’m hoping I’ll be working in the next couple of weeks, which will cut down on my boredom and time to shop. This information has give me something to think about, and I should be able to come up with a realistic budget to set for next month!

What I Received
1. Eshakti gold crushed silk maxi dress // 129.95

Thanks to Eshakti, I received this beautiful dress free of charge. It’s definitely a very large purchase that I normally would not have been able to make, so I’m very grateful to them. Stay tuned for a review post featuring this dress!


Again, I’m linking up with Franish’s Blogging Budgeters – check out all the other lovely ladies!

 

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Friday Favorites 01 // Army Jacket

They* weren’t kidding when they said the weather in San Francisco can be crazy.

skinny jeans moccasins striped sweater army jacket statement necklace

skinny jeans moccasins striped sweater army jacketLet’s Be Friends: Instagram // Twitter // Pinterest // Facebook // Bloglovin // YouTube

On Tuesday (the day of this outfit), it was warmish during the day, but by nighttime, I was wearing a cardigan sweater and an army jacket at the baseball game we went to. On Wednesday, the weather channel said it was only 66, so I wore jeans, sandals, and a light cardigan. I was sweating by the time I’d walked to Starbucks and back. And then today. Today I figured, “Oh it’s been warm during the day all week…” so I put on a light t-shirt dress, sandals, a light cardigan, and a scarf. As soon I was outside, I noticed everyone was wearing jackets. Let’s just say I was glad I was only running across the street for lunch.

sweater // similar army jacket // jeans // moccasins (in “Dusty Brown”) // “Magic Kingdom” bag from JustFab

I love my army jacket, but I’m not sure it’s going to cut it when it’s windy here in SF. It’s great by itself when it’s just a tad chilly, but anything colder, and I have to layer it up, which is sort of uncomfortable because it’s not a very roomy jacket. I think I need a jacket that’s just a tad bit heavier. For the rest of the country, you probably aren’t in the market for a jacket (what with it being almost summer and all), but now is the time when off-season styles are on sale! I’ve been wanting an anorak jacket (or something similar), so I’ve been doing some searching today. I haven’t narrowed one down yet, but here are some of my favorites so far – all of them are under $140!

Guess Studded Army Anorak

Ralph Lauren Hooded Military Field Jacket

Madewell Outbound Jacket

Mo-ka Coffee Shop Anorak Windbreaker

Caslon Cotten Twill Hooded Jacket

Vince Camuto Two-Toned Anorak

*I have no idea who “they” are.

Chocolate and Wine

Did I get your attention with chocolate and wine?? Here are some pictures that have nothing to do with chocolate or wine. Those will come later.

floral ballet flats sweater striped blouse

striped blouse white sweater chunky necklace

sweater striped blouse crossbody bag

floral ballet flats sweater striped blouse2

floral ballet flatsLet’s Be Friends: Instagram I Twitter I Pinterest I Facebook I Bloglovin I YouTube

Two weeks ago, we had dinner with an acquaintance of Brett’s who told us about a wine festival happening the following Saturday. How had we not heard of this? Pay a fee and get unlimited wine samples? We were sold.

similar “jeggings” // similar blouse // similar sweater (on sale!) // “Magic Kingdom” bag from Just Fab // somewhat similar necklace // similar sunglasses // floral flats

So we spent a beautiful Saturday at Ghirardelli Square, sampling wines, eating from food trucks, and we even stopped for some pictures by the water. Perfect day. One which ended even more perfectly with a giant chocolate sundae. Here are some more pictures from our chocolate and wine day.

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bandbselfie

chocolate sundea

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What’s in my purse?

If you’re anything like me, your purse tends to be a holding area for all of your…crap. I mean, really. I don’t tend to change my purse out as often as I’d like, so the stuff just piles up. Therefore, when Credit Card Insider asked me to participate in their “What’s in your purse?” campaign, I knew it would be a great excuse to actually clean out my purse and narrow down my 10 must-have items.

photo1 (25)Let’s Be Friends: Instagram I Twitter I Pinterest I Facebook I Bloglovin I YouTube

Here are the 10 items that I always have with me in my purse, no matter where I go. Sure, I have other go-to’s, like a notebook and pen, bobby pins, ibupofren, etc., but I can live without those things if I had to. These 10 things are crucial.

029-1*This post is not sponsored. I received no compensation of any kind.

1. wallet – Obviously a girl needs her wallet: cash, credit cards, and ID are a must. Oh, and my froyo punch card. That’s probably the most important.

2. sunglasses – I can’t stand it when I’m out in the blazing sun and don’t have a pair of sunglasses, so I always have a backup pair in the inside pocket of my purse.

3. mirror – I don’t use a mirror often, but if I have something stuck in my teeth or need to re-apply my lip color, I definitely want a mirror on me. And yes, my compact has pictures of my dog. 🙂 I kind of love this one too because it looks just like Macgyver!

4. tissue – You never know when you’ll need a tissue. Seriously.

5. Band-aid Friction Block Stick – This stuff is magical. Really. If you have new shoes to break in or just a pair that habitually rubs, apply this stuff to the problem areas on your feet and ankles, and you don’t have to worry about blisters. I keep it in my purse because we all have those shoes that start off the day fine, but then start rubbing towards the end of the day. I never want to wish I had it on me.

6. lip balm – I’ll admit it: I’m a lip balm addict. I know it’s supposed to make your dry lips worse, but I don’t care. EOS mint is my current favorite.

7. lip color – I also like to have a lip color on me because sometimes you never know where your day will take you. Plus, it quickly helps you go from tired looking to pulled together if need be. I love Revlon lip butters because they’re light and smooth, but they still pack a mean punch in the pigment department.

8. hand sanitizer – I’m definitely not a germaphobe, but I like to have hand sanitizer in my purse for days that I’m out and about all day and just feel grimy, especially before eating!

9. lint roller – Sometimes my dog makes it impossible to look neat and tidy with his hair all over my clothes. A lot of times I’ll think I get it all, but then when I get to where I need to go, there’s more hair! Travel lint rollers are a lifesaver, especially for someone who likes to wear a lot of black.

10. phone – I mean, who can live without a phone these days? Enough said. (Like my phone case?)

So what’s in your purse? Am I missing anything important? Let me know what your go-to items are!

 

 

 

Sunday Funday 04 // 05.25.14

It’s been awhile for a Sunday Funday!

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photo1 (23)Photos from the Miranda Sings show I went to last weekend. She’s my favorite.

What You May Have Missed on QB in the past week:

1. I announced my first giveaway (ends Tuesday at midnight)!!

2. I wore a very light outfit that was pretty washed out in the sun, but I just had to show off my shoes.

3. A cute, casual ballet-inspired outfit

4. Lots of floral and some new striped shoes

Blog Love

1. This vegan party menu on Bamboo Blossom looks positively scrumptious – I want all the dips!

2. A Beautiful Mess seriously created my dream kitchen. Sigh.

3. Simply Sabrina blogged about a rockin’ turtleneck dress (4 words I never thought I’d say) – super cute!

Pinteresting Finds

1. You guys, I might have found THE swimsuit for this summer!

2. Once we move into our apartment, I can’t wait to make these flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies!

3. Rainbow sangria, anyone? Yes, please!

On the Interwebs

1. A funny — yet totally true — look at how cell phones are making us flaky

2. 12 roommate horror stories that will make you cherish the mediocre roommates you’ve had

3. Pretty awesome Etsy gifts for Father’s Day

I’m off to the beach in Santa Cruz today – have a great Sunday! You can keep up with my beach adventures on Instagram.

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Floral, Floral, Stripes

Lots of weird facial expressions going on these pictures, hence the croppage.

striped wedges floral tank sweater3

floral earrings floral tank

striped wedges floral tank sweater2

striped wedges floral tank sweaterLet’s Be Friends: Instagram I Twitter I Pinterest I Facebook I Bloglovin I YouTube

These shoes were the type that as soon as you see them, you just know you’re going to take them home with you. That’s exactly what I did. The straps dig a little, but to me, it’s worth it.  🙂 Additionally, it may appear as though this shirt and earrings came as a matching set, but nope; I just apparently gravitate towards the same things, years apart. That would explain why I have approximately 932 striped items in my closet.

tank  I  similar jeans  I  wedges (these are cute too, if you reallllly want some stripes)  I  similar sweater (on sale!)  I  somewhat similar earrings  I  similar purse

Off Duty Ballerina

A quick little dinner outfit today…

striped shirt green cardigan top knot statement necklace

striped shirt green cardigan jeweled ballet flats

striped shirt green cardigan jeweled ballet flats top knot statement necklaceLet’s Be Friends: Instagram I Twitter I Pinterest I Facebook I Bloglovin I YouTube

I started a juice/smoothie cleanse thingie whatever you wanna call it. Since I’ve basically been detoxing off sugar all day, I don’t have much of an attention span; therefore, I’ll keep this short and sweet. I wore this last week to a fabulous restaurant called Hops & Hominy. I can see it being one of our favs. The mac & cheese was AWESOME. But then again, mac & cheese usually is.

jeans  I  flats (or if you’re not into the jewels, these are cute too!)  I  similar top  I  similar cardigan  I  similar sunglasses  I  purse: vintage Coach (find one on ebay like I did!)  I  somewhat similar necklace

 PS: Don’t forget about my giveaway!

Washed Out

Note to Self: A mostly white outfit does not necessarily photograph well RIGHT in the blaring sun. Oh well, you get the idea…

dorsay flats sweater jeggings

dorsay flats sweater jeggings2

dorsay flats sweater jeggings statement necklace

floral tank statement necklace sweaterLet’s Be Friends: Instagram I Twitter I Pinterest I Facebook I Bloglovin I YouTube

So my shirt is floral, and my shoes are striped. Unfortunately, you can barely tell. I almost didn’t even put this outfit on here, but after pining for these shoes weeks ago, I had to debut them; I’m too impatient to wait for another outfit. Super adult right here.

somewhat similar tank  I  similar sweater (on sale!) I  similar “jeggings”  I  shoes  I  similar necklace  I  purse: vintage Coach (find one on ebay like I did!)  I  similar sunglasses

PS: If you didn’t see yesterday’s giveaway, make sure you check it out!

My First Giveaway!! (CLOSED)

photo1 (12)Let’s Be Friends: Instagram I Twitter I Pinterest I Facebook I Bloglovin I YouTube

Today I have a giveaway – my first one, in fact! And in true, weirdo QB fashion, my giveaway doesn’t consist of jewelry or designer jeans – I will be giving away a collection of items I have been curating since we left Indianapolis!

If you’ve been following our adventure on my other blog, then some of these things probably look familiar to you, as most of them are things I picked up along the way on our road trip from Indianapolis to San Francisco. So what are these seemingly random things?

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Indianapolis, IN

1. Just Pop In! Hoosier Mama Bloody Mary popcorn – I was given a bunch of popcorn for the drive from the lovely ladies at Just Pop In!, a local shop in Indy. Really, they gave me way too much, and I have a lot left over. The Bloody Mary is my favorite flavor, so I’d like to give a bag away to share the (delicious) love!*

Kansas City, MO

2. Gates Bar-B-Q Sauce – This is apparently a Kansas City staple in BBQ…and isn’t that what you think of when you think of KC?

Wamego, KS

3. Oz Winery koozie – This was a cool little winery we stopped at after the Oz Museum.

4. Oz Museum pen – Really, if you haven’t watched the video of our trip to the Oz Museum, do yourself a favor and watch it. It was such a hilarious/fun/quirky place!

Somewhere in Colorado

5. “Handwoven” basket – The above video explains where I got this, why I say “somewhere in CO,” and why I say “handwoven.” I thought it was kind of cool and a cute little basket for rings, change, whatever you’d like something to hold your something in!

Salt Lake City, UT

6. Super Authentic “Good Karma” Candle – I don’t know why I bought this…I guess I liked the color, and it smells good! You’re sure to feel super ZEN if you light this.  😉

7. Pioneer Valley Apricot Chunky Pineapple “Fancy Jam” – This is from a Utah-based company that makes jams and jellies. I really just like that it’s called FANCY jam!

San Francisco, CA

8. Alcatraz Inmate Slang playing cards – To me, this was pretty much the most useful souvenir from Alcatraz (unless you want to pay $9 for a “psycho ward” flask). I mean, obviously…you can learn phrases like “ridge runner,” “life on the installment plan,” and “called on the carpet.” Want to know what those mean? Guess you’ll just have to win the cards! Or Google it.

9. La Boulange Orange Blossom Shortbread CookiesLa Boulange has quickly become one of my favorites here in SF, and these cookies are SO GOOD! When I first tried them, I ate almost a whole pack in one sitting (so much for watching my figure). (Oh, and if you’re like me, thinking they taste orange flavored, they don’t at all!)

10. Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almond bar – Yeah, yeah, you can get Ghiradelli anywhere, but THIS is a special Fisherman’s Wharf chocolate bar FROM Ghiradelli Square! Cool, right? Yah, whatever. Chocolate’s chocolate.

So what do you have to do to win all these AMAZING prizes that everyone will be surely jealous that you’ll own them?? Absolutely nothing! Wait, what? You heard me. The first entry is free with the chance to “earn” bonus entries! So what are you waiting on? Get to it. That chocolate’s not going to eat itself!**  I may even (more like probably will) throw in a few more extra goodies!  😉

<<<CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!>>>

No purchase necessary. Giveaway is only open to legal USA residents (sorry international friends!) and to those who are 18 and older. Giveaway is open from Tuesday, May 20 at 12:15am EST to Friday, May 27 at 11:59pm EST. First entry requires no action from entrant whatsoever; however, bonus entries may be “earned” by completing tasks outlined on the Rafflecopter page. All subsequent entries after the initial “freebie” entry will be checked to ensure the tasks were indeed completed. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. Winner will be randomly chosen via Rafflecopter and will be announced within 48 hours of giveaway ending. Winner will then have 48 hours to contact me via email or else another winner will be chosen. Prize will be shipped within one week (7 days) of winner contacting me. 

*This popcorn was given to me a few weeks ago. It has been sealed ever since; however, I make no guarantees on its freshness. 🙂

**Unless I eat it first. Kiiiiiidding! 🙂

Knotted

As a curvier girl, one of my favorite little fashion “tricks” is to define my waist…

knotted tank top over dress sandals coach bag

knotted tank top over dress

knotted tank top over dress sandals coach bag2

knotted tank top over dress sandalsLet’s Be Friends: Instagram I Twitter I Pinterest I Facebook I Bloglovin I YouTube

I know that a lot of times women (including myself) think that in order to “hide” undesirable body parts, wearing looser clothing is the way to go. Unfortunately, this usually does the opposite of what you want! Although it may seem counterproductive, the trick is to actually accentuate. If you want that waist to look smaller, then pull it in! I do this a lot with belts (see here, here, and here), but one of the easiest ways to accentuate your waist is to just knot it. You can simply knot your shirt over pants (like here), but my favorite way to do this is like what I’m wearing in this post: simply knot a tshirt or tank top over a dress. Voila!

I especially love to do this with a dress that has spaghetti straps (like this one). I’m not always a huge fan of spaghetti straps because I either have to wear a strapless bra or let my bra straps shine; however, knotting a tank over my dress let’s me wear whatever comfortable bra I want and makes even the fanciest of sundresses look instantly casual. Look at me, doing anything to get out of wearing a strapless bra. Classy as usual.

similar dress  I  tank (I love these tanks – I have so many different colors!)  I  very similar cardigan  I  sandals  I  somewhat similar necklace  I  purse: vintage Coach (find one on ebay like I did!)  I  similar sunglasses

SHAMELESS SELF-PLUG:  You know what’s also super flattering and doesn’t even need belts or knotting? Fit and flare dresses! See 10 super gorgeous choices here. You’re welcome.