Monthly Archives: November 2014

Budgeting Bloggers // November 2014

It’s that time again, and man, was I a good girl!

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What I Bought

1. J. Crew Factory Leather-Sleeve Tee // $26.39 (orig. $68, on clearance for $32.99 + extra 20% off clearance)

2. Toms Herringbone Desert Wedges // $89

3. J. Crew Perfect Boyfriend Flannel in ‘Rock Salt’ // $34.50 (orig. $69.50)

Total Spent: $149.89 (orig. $226.50) – $94.92 in Poshmark earnings = $53.97

Savings = $76.71 + $94.92


In terms of quantity, a pretty good month for me! The price of the wedges was steep for me, but I decided to transfer over some Poshmark earnings to cover them so I didn’t feel so bad about dropping the dough so close to Christmas. They really are my current favorite shoes, so I know I’m going to get my money’s worth over the cold months. These were the only thing I had planned on purchasing for myself this month, but a J. Crew Factory sale email had me Christmas shopping for Brett. I then stumbled upon the flannel shirt I had been wanting for a year, and THEN when I saw that the leather-sleeve top would only be $26 after an additional discount, I caved. Again, this month, I bought quite a few things from Stitch Fix, but I haven’t been adding those purchases because I’m still trying conceptualize some sort of separate post. It’ll happen one day. 

Do you own any of the above purchases? I seriously can’t recommend the wedges enough!

As always, I’m linking up with Franish’s Blogging Budgeters – check out all the other amazing budgeting goddesses!


Burgundy, anyone?

Burgundy is one of my favorite fall colors, so for a dinner out Saturday, I thought top, lips, bag? Burgundy? Let’s do this.

burgundy Stitch Fix dolman top Toms wedges Target plaid scarf2

burgundy Stitch Fix dolman top Target plaid scarf

Toms wedges Just Fab Gallerista

burgundy Stitch Fix dolman top Toms wedges Target plaid scarfInstagram // Twitter // Pinterest // Facebook // Bloglovin // Poshmark //YouTube

So I was doing some thinking, and I think I miss outfit posts! I guess it’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, huh? Therefore, I’ve decided that I will do two (maybe 3) outfit posts a week as well as the other various lifestyle topics I’ve been posting. I think that will be a healthy balance for me (and hopefully you!).

Now that that’s out of the way, can we talk about these Toms wedges?? I used to think the open toed wedges were cute in theory, but I never liked the blue Toms tag on the back. Don’t get me wrong, I love Toms and its mission, but if I’m going to wear a pair of open toed wedges with a nice outfit, a bright blue label on the back of the shoes sort of throws the aesthetic off for me. Recently though, a girl I work with wore these wedges and raved about how comfortable they are. I thought they looked amazing, and then I noticed the dark, embossed label on the back that totally blends in. I was sold. The day I got them in the mail, I put them right on and didn’t take them off the rest of the day. Move over Target ankle wedges, these are officially my favorite fall shoe!

boots: here or here // scarf (out of stock online – find in store) // similar top* // jeans //  bag (sold out, but you can join the waitlist – here’s something similar) // lips: Revlon Lip Butter in “Red Velvet” mixed with Nyx Matte Lip Cream in “San Paulo

*Top was purchased via Stitch Fix (Sawyer Dolman Top from Market and Spruce)

Have you tried Toms wedges? What do you think??


8 Week Hot Body Challenge: Week 2 Update

Another quick update of my progress! See Week One here.

[[The Food]]

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Food is still going well; however, this weekend I took a bit more liberty with meals, subbing healthily of course. For example, instead of eating warm quinoa cereal for two of the breakfasts, I subbed my favorite egg white oats with banana and raisins instead. Same idea but easier, as I didn’t feel like making quinoa early in the morning. Additionally, on two of the days, I was supposed to have Asian lettuce wraps for lunch. It was super cold and rainy all last week, so while I was indoors shivering in layers, lettuce wraps just weren’t going to cut it. I whipped up a healthy homemade chili instead (inspired loosely by this recipe). Hot chili definitely hit the spot, so I have no regrets.

I did have a couple of “YOLO meals,” as Cassey Ho calls them (I feel silly saying that, but I’ve never really been a fan of the term “cheat meal” because “cheat” implies guilt, so I sort of say YOLO facetiously). On Saturday, I had a turkey bacon and egg white breakfast sandwich from Starbucks because I was too lazy to cook anything. We also went out to dinner that night to Sabrosa, an upscale Mexican restaurant, so I did have some fried chips and salsa, but I had waaaaay more self control than I normally do at Mexican restaurants. I also had a couple of jalapeno margaritas, but the spiciness speeds up the metabolism, yes? 😉 Additionally, yesterday, we were going to have brunch at The Grove on Fillmore, and I was going to get a nice egg white omelette, but the power went out in the kitchen. Since we had movie tickets, we were pressed for time, so we went across the street to Glaze, where I had teriyaki steak, brown rice, and a salad with carrot-ginger dressing. Not terrible. Definitely could have been worse. And at the movie? I skipped popcorn and had coffee instead. I was freezing, so I wasn’t too sad about it.

Oh, and that quesadilla up there? MONEY. (I used brown rice flour instead of coconut flour.)

[[The Workouts]]

I only worked out on Monday. I don’t want to talk about it.

[[How I’m Feeling]]

Pretty good, actually. I feel like my energy is pretty decent, and my sugar headaches are subsiding. I have been trying to lay off the coffee, as truthfully, my normal almost-daily iced coffee has started to make my stomach hate me. So I probably have one cup of coffee every other day now, and I’ve been trying to drink more tea (hot or iced). So far so good!

[[General Thoughts]]

I’m actually feeling pretty great about myself. I took my weight and measurements from week 2 this morning, and I’ve lost roughly 6 pounds and a little under 4 inches. That’s way better than I expected! Since I haven’t been working out much, this just confirms what I already know: it’s all about diet! My goal this week is to workout 4/7 days. With it being the holiday week and all, I should be working out every day, but we’ll see. Onto week 3! You can find more info here.

6 Movies I’m Dying to See

So I’m sure I’m not the only one’s been not so patiently waiting for Mockingjay to come out. We have tickets to see it Sunday, and I can’t wait! In thinking of how it always seems like the movies you want to see will never come out, I started thinking of other films I’m looking forward to. Here are 6 more movies I’m dying to see!

1. Big Eyes – Amy Adams and Christopher Waltz? Directed by Tim Burton? Set in San Francisco? Sold.

2. Serena – This book has been on my to-read list for quite some time, and with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper together again, I can’t wait to see the movie, too!

3. Pitch Perfect 2 – The first Pitch Perfect is one I never saw in theaters, but once I did finally see it, I fell in love. Though silly at times, it’ Rebel Wilson is just the best.

4. Into the Woods – I’m going to be honest and admit that I don’t know much about this musical, but once I saw the cast and the trailer, plus the fact it’s a Stephen Sondheim musical (Sweeney Todd), it became a must see for me.

5. Insurgent – I loved reading the Divergent series more than the Hunger Games, and Insurgent was my favorite of the trilogy, so this is a no brainer.

6. Jurassic World – So little known fact: growing up, I LOVED Jurassic Park. I watched it alllll the time. I still do love it; in fact, whenever I’m flipping through the channels, and it’s on, I stop and watch. Every time. So of course I’m stoked for another movie! Sadly, I couldn’t find an actual trailer yet, but this behind the scenes video is pretty cool.

UPDATE: The trailer came out!!


What movies are you looking forward to? Are you exciting about any of the above mentioned??


One Lovely Blog

I don’t usually find myself doing “bloggy” things (if that makes sense) like this, but when Sari from The Sweet Life nominated me for the “One Lovely Blog Award,” I thought, why not? Plus, to be 100% honest, I had nothing planned for today, so this came at a great time! 😉



[[Here’s the Deal]]

“The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer and up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and also to help the new blogger to reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the fellow bloggers who choose them. This award recognizes bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with viewers and followers. In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must complete five steps.

Steps to Accept the Award:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
(My link:
2. List the rules and display the award logo in your post.
3. Add 7 facts about yourself.
4. Nominate other bloggers you want to know better.
5. Follow the person who nominated you on bloglovin’.”

[[7 Facts about Me – In true QB fashion, 6 are true and one is a lie….figure it out. :)]]

1. My dad is friends with Dave Prowse, who played the body (not the voice) of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars movies. He came to Bloomington, IN (where I went to college) one night for a film showing, and I had dinner with him.

2. A few years ago, I had a very painful experience with stepping on sea urchins in the Dominican.

3. Though I covet high fashion, I’ve never owned an expensive bag (ie: Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs), with the exception of a Coach Outlet bag I got as a gift one year.

4. I take pleasure in discussing, practicing, and correcting grammar. Also parallel structure (if you get this, then we can be best friends).

5. I drink close to a gallon of water every day.

6. Though I love nothing more than a steaming hot cup of coffee, if I have a choice, then I typically choose iced coffee, even when I lived through terribly blustery winters in the Midwest.

7. I’ve celebrated Groundhog’s in Punxsutawney, Pa. In fact, it’s where I got engaged on February 2, 2012!

[[And my Lovely Nominations]]

>> Lauryn at Fit Awakening

>> Jinah at Heart and Seoul

>> Natasha at Bamboo Blossom

>> Megan at Hayes Days

*Please don’t feel obligated to participate in this – won’t hurt my feelings! Plus we’re not all new anyway! 🙂

8 Week Hot Body Challenge: Week 1 Update

Last week I mentioned I would be starting a meal plan to sort of “re set” and get back on track. After my Vegas trip at the end of September, I sort let of myself go. Surprisingly, I hadn’t really gained any weight, but all my healthy habits flew out the window. Honestly, I’m not that great at following guided meal plans, but with this one, I’m giving myself the freedom to make (healthy) tweaks as necessary. The meals do get a bit repetitive throughout the week (though I was fine with it for week one), so if I get tired of something, I’m fine with having the leftovers of another day, subbing something else, etc.

[[The Food]]

IMG_0846 IMG_0847

For the first week, not too shabby. The old egg and banana pancakes are not new to me, but I’ve definitely perfected them (dash of cinnamon, splash of vanilla extract, pinch of baking powder, splash of almond milk), and now they’re one of my favorite breakfasts (topped with almond butter, of course). I had actually been eating egg white oats (thanks for my friend Lauryn) in the weeks leading up to this, so I was happy to see I could continue. I’ve starting making them on the stove and adding a little almond milk – soooo good! The meals have actually been pretty filling. I mean, meatballs, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower all for lunch seems like a feast to me, but it really did keep me fuller longer, so no complaints.

[[The Workouts]]

So, um, I only worked out Monday-Wednesday. Lame, I know. To be honest, I think I started to have sugar withdrawals because I just sort of felt like crap. That in turn made me very unmotivated to work out. I will say though that it’s Sunday night, and my butt is STILL somewhat sore from MONDAY’S workout! Once I actually get my butt in gear, then I’ll have more to report on this end.

[[How I’m Feeling]]

For the first few days, I followed the meal plan to a T, so like I said, I started to feel the miserable effects of sugar withdrawal and, inadvertently, caffeine withdrawal. I’m not trying to quit coffee, but I am trying to limit it. However, on Thursday, I ate a Quest Bar (straying from meal plan, but I don’t mind), and on Friday and Saturday I had a few drinks, so there’s sugar right there. As far as energy goes, it sort of comes and goes in spurts. I’ll wake up super tired (as usual), then I’ll eat and feel great and then I’ll just feel sort of “blah.” I’m taking this all as an adjustment period though.

[[General Thoughts]]

So far so good. I’ve lost a couple of pounds, which I know is just water weight. I took measurements at the start, and I’ll take my measurements again tomorrow (Monday). I know some people say not to worry about those things until “the end,” but it’s interesting for me to track from week to week. If I don’t make much progress one week, then it allows me to look back and reflect and see if I can pinpoint the problem. Just the analyst in me. 🙂 Onto week 2! You can find more info here.

Half Moon Bay and Sonoma Part 02

Happy Friday! Here we are wrapping up Part 2 of our fun-filled weekend last weekend in Half Moon Bay and Sonoma. Read part 1 here. Since it’s Friday afternoon, and everyone’s probably already checked out (at least mentally) into the weekend, I’ll keep this on the shorter side and be brief with my words. Here we are!


We love taking day trips up to Sonoma, driving around to 3-4 wineries, tasting, and choosing bottles to take home. On this day, we traveled up with some friends and stayed around the Petaluma area.

Stop One: Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards winen tasting

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards grape vines

As far as tasting goes, Jacuzzi was probably our favorite spot, mainly due to the employee who poured for us. He was so nice and friendly; Don will hold a special place in our hearts forever. You can get a glimpse of Don below, to the far right.

wine friends

Jacuzzi had olive oil tasting, too, which was a fun experience!

olive oil tasting at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

Stop Two: Cline Cellars Vineyards and Winery

We had been to Cline before, but we didn’t mind another stop. The grounds are beautiful (as they all are), but they feel a little more “homey” than other wineries, especially since the tasting room is in an old house.

Cline Cellars grounds

Cline Vineyards picnic area-01-1

Brett hung out with a pigeon, per usual.

Cline Vineyards pigeons

Lots of cool trees and cacti.

Cline Vineyards palm tree Cline Vineyards cactus

And then there was this bench, which we found funny for some reason.

Jim Eller's bench at Cline Vineyards

Stop Three: Viansa Winery & Marketplace

Viansa Family Vineyards

Viansa was probably our least favorite of the day, not because it was bad, but we because we had been spoiled by free tastings at Jacuzzi and Cline. It’s actually pretty common to have to pay for tastings, so the fact that our first two stops were free was amazing and made us become a bit bratty when we had to pay at Viansa. 🙂 Plus none of the wine really knocked our socks off, so we left empty handed as well.

Viansa Family Vineyards wine tasting

wine friends2

Excuse my ghost face above. Stunning grounds and scenery below!

Viansa Family Vineyards sign

Viansa Family Vineyards grape vines

Viansa Family Vineyards barrels-01-1

Sonoma Scenery

Stop Four: Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards

Now as far as general atmosphere and just overall beauty and awesomeness, Gloria Ferrer was my favorite of the day. They specialize in sparkling wine, so rather than pay for a (pretty expensive) tasting, we decided to just share a bottle. And a cheese plate, naturally. Sitting on the terrace overlooking the vast scenery, sipping on sparkling, and nibbling on cheese. Seriously, is there anything better?

wine tasting

Sonoma Scenery 2

Gloria Ferrer scenery

sparklin wine at Gloria Ferrer

Last Stop: Rossi’s 1906


After our fourth winery, we knew we were pretty much done, but food was imperative. We did a quick Yelp search and ended up at Rossi’s 1906, which was quite tasty. Our table was right off of the dancefloor, which was sadly empty. Probably because we were eating what I like to call the “early bird special” at 5:30pm.

And that wraps up last weekend! Have you been to Sonoma Valley or any of the above wineries?

Tipsy Thursday 01 // Ice Cube Hack

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a delicious Bourbon Apple Cider, and I said I’d explain how I made the large ice cubes. Today’s the day, lovelies!

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There are quite a few products that make large ice cubes for cocktails (or mocktails, if you please) like this or this. I’d love to have molds like that, and I’m sure I probably will soon because the ice cube spheres are so cool, but in the meantime, here’s a trick for a simple and cheap way to make large, single ice cubes in a large quantity when you just don’t have those sweet silicon molds.

Step 1

Find plastic take-out ramekins, like the ones you get at a restaurant. You can find these at party stores or Costco, but the easiest place is a liquor store, which is where I found them. They’re technically “jello shot cups.”

empty cup


Step 2

Fill each cup a little over 3/4 full. You can definitely fill them up all the way, which result in larger cubes; I just find them harder to get out once they’re frozen.

full cup

Step 3

Fill as many cups as you want and load up on a baking sheet or muffin tin. I recommend a muffin tin to eliminate spillage.

fill cups tray


Step 4

Pop in the freezer for 4-6 hours, or until frozen solid. Overnight is probably best. If the cubes aren’t frozen solid, then they’ll break when you try to pop them out.

Step 5

In order to get them out – without breaking the ice cube or the cup – I wrap my warm hand around the cup, while rotating the cup a few times and gently squeezing. The warmth from your hand will help to melt the ice just a tad and the gentle squeezing helps to start to work it out.

photo (5)

Step 6

Once you’ve worked the ice out enough, you can flip it over a glass and use your thumbs to pop that cube out!

glasses with ice

Step 7

Add your beverage, and enjoy! Find the recipe for Bourbon Apple Cider here!

bourbon apple cider

Have you ever tried something like this? Let me know if you do!

Half Moon Bay & Sonoma Part 01

You know those weekends when you feel like you didn’t do much, but when you look back, it was actually quite the whirlwind? Yah, that happened.

I talked about my upcoming plans on Friday, and they did not disappoint. I love just randomly hopping in the car and going on daytime adventures (especially if they involve wine and cheese), and this weekend was no exception. Today I will recap part 1 of our weekend, which was Saturday in Half Moon Bay!

Warning: If you hate blog posts containing lots of pictures of wine, beautiful scenery, and other people’s good times, then maybe skip this one? 😛

Half Moon Bay

It was Brett’s idea to go to Half Moon Bay. I didn’t really know much about it, but I’m so glad we made it happen. Apparently we picked the perfect day to go because afterwards we heard that it’s usually super foggy there (even more so than SF), but it was a beautiful day! The drive there had no shortage of beautiful scenery.


I’m not even sure what this, but I’m into it.


First Stop: La Nebbia Winery

Nebbia Winery Half Moon Bay

La Nebbia Winery is right off the highway into town, so it was pretty hopping when we went in. If I’m being honest, we didn’t have the most enjoyable time, not because it was busy but because one of the employees was just super busy and frazzled and made no effort to hide it, which resulted in her being sort of rude. I don’t know about you, but when I’m wine tasting, I want to be immersed in the experience. I don’t want to get a quick pour and literally be told to head to the back until I was ready for more. Not fun. I understand being busy, but it just seemed sort of disorganized. The man working there that day though was super pleasant, so he somewhat made up for our less than stellar visit.

Nebbia Winery Half Moon Bay 2

The wines themselves were okay; nothing really stood out to us except, oddly enough, the dessert wines. I’m typically not a dessert wine person, but they were pretty tasty. Our favorite part was the add-on of port in a chocolate cup. Yes, please!

IMG_9224A Teeny, Tiny Cheers

Stop #2: Half Moon Bay Wine & Cheese Co.

Half Moon Bay Wine and Cheese

We liked Half Moon Bay Wine & Cheese Co. much better. Though not an actual winery, they offer flights and single 2/3/6 oz. pours. The place was bright and clean and pretty chill. We were able to linger at the tasting bar at our leisure and didn’t feel rushed at all. We started by sharing the “Autumnal Mix” flight, which included a Cortese, a Grenache Gris, and a Sangiovese. Tasty.


Next, we shared two 2-oz pours: a Tempranillo and a Chilean Cabernet (not pictured). Afterwards, we wandered around, popping in and out of the little shops. There was some ukelee playing.


Last Stop: Hop Dogma Brewing Co.

Hop Dogma Brewery Half Moon Bay

Hop Dogma Brewing Co. was so cute, like a little hipster slice of heaven tucked away. We could have gone to the bigger Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, but I had read reviews that Hop Dogma was more intimate and just a better experience. I have to agree. We each had a flight, and we got a couple of tacos from the food truck outside. The crowd was lively, and there was even a dog! Cuteness ensued.


From front to back: Polydactyl Pilsner, Danked and Confused (Indian Pale Lager), High & Dry Stout, and Potent Porpoise Porter (what a great name!)


Have you ever been to Half Moon Bay? Tune in later for part 2 in Sonoma!

All the Things 05 // Ankle Boots (Splurge vs Save)

Fall always has me wanting ALL the ankle boots…

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1.  the reid boot // Madewell

3.  Calf Hair Ankle Boots  // J. Crew

5.  ‘Pacific’ Wraparound Strap Bootie // Sam Edelman via Nordstrom


2.  Ava Ankle Boot // Target

4.  ‘I Get a Click Out of You’ Bootie // Modcloth

6.  ‘Kona’ Bootie // Bella Vita via Nordstrom

Which pair is your favorite? Are you loving ankle boots right now as  much as I am??