Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What I Wore: Catch Up

I have a few outfit photos to share from the last couple weeks, so I thought I'd do a quick catch-up post!

Cream Sweater: Target, Black Skinnies: Target, Riding Boots: Target, Scarf: Gift

I wore this on Christmas Eve.

Cardigan: Sears, Scarf: Garage Sale, Pants: Kohl's, Shirt: Kohl's, Boots: KMart

I wore this to work today on New Year's Eve!

I'm linking up!

Remix, Rewear, Restyle at Greater Than Rubies

pleated poppy

December Budget

Here's my last clothing budget post for the year! I did pretty well at not buying too much this month, but I did get several other items as gifts that I'm not including in this post for my birthday at the end of November and Christmas.

December Budget

I purchased 4 tops (3 pictured above) out of my budget this month.
- Leopard blouse: $6.45 from Target (same)
- Blue with black dot blouse: $6.45 from Target
- Dark blue chambray: $0.86 from Kohl's (after $10 coupon) (same)
- Ann Taylor LOFT sleeveless ruffle blouse: $3.00 from Goodwill
Total spent: $16.76
The Target blouses were marked down to $5.98 in our store, but seem to still be full price on the web site.
I also got the following as gifts or using Christmas or birthday money.
- Black wedge boots: $16.09 from KMart (same)
- Utility jacket: Christmas gift from Penney's (same)
- Reversible fleece vest: $21.44 from Sears (same)
- Purple necklace: Won from Our World Boutique in a giveaway from the Cream to My Coffee
I have worn the black wedge boots all month. I really like them. The utility jacket was a replacement Christmas gift. My parents bought me this great brown faux leather jacket, but it was not quite the right size. When I went to exchange it, they were out of the brown jackets but I got the olive utility jacket instead which I've been wanting, so it worked out pretty well.
I went to Sears looking for a black puffy vest after I saw it on My Favorite Outfit and a couple other places. I ended up buying this reversible vest instead. It has a subtle chevron print on one side and is a really soft solid gray on the reverse. I keep seeing the herringbone JCrew vests and various similar ones, but I wasn't able to track anything down in our area. I'm hoping this vest will fill a similar place in my wardrobe.
Tomorrow starts day 1 of my 20x30 remix. The shopping plan for 2014 is to try and buy fewer, better quality pieces. We will see how I do! How was your shopping budget for December?
I'm linking up to Budgeting Bloggers at Franish!

Monday, December 30, 2013

End of the Year Thoughts and 2014 Goals

Here we are at the end of 2013! What do you hope to do these next few days? Am I the only one who feels the need to organize immediately after Christmas? I've been working on organizing and decluttering lots of areas in the house. I always seem to want to start with my closet. :) I went through and got rid of many items, plus sent a full bag to ThredUp. We're headed to Goodwill today with another full bag, too. I'm planning to list a few items on Ebay, too.

I also went through my fabric stash, put some items in the Goodwill bag, and listed some destash items in the shop. Check it out especially if you are looking for a good deal on some layer cakes! I came across a bunch of partially finished projects like zip pouches, a mug rug, a table topper, and more. With the exception of buying key fob hardware, I'd like to see what I can make for the shop and myself without buying fabric and new supplies for awhile.

The beginning of the year always feels like a time to get organized, figure things out, simplify, etc. I don't make resolutions any more, but I usually do set some goals. Some of them I share on here, while others I don't. We're in the process of figuring out our financial goals for this year and I hope to be able to keep exercising, reading the Bible, and reading lots of other books, too. (I have an end of the year reading roundup coming soon!) We're also praying as a family about our mission and ministry goals for this year.

One goal that I have been working on pertains to clothing and my wardrobe. I do enjoy thrifting, shopping, and finding a good deal, but after looking at all my 2013 budget posts, I found that I had purchased around 115 new items, and approximately 15% of these items are no longer in my wardrobe. I want to focus on buying less, better quality items in 2014. The plan right now is to limit myself to 4-5 items per month, including scarves and jewelry, and to really focus on purchasing items that fill my closet "holes" and not just buying to buy something. If I can do this, it will cut my intake of items in half.

In that vein, I am going to participate in a Winter Remix hosted by Greater Than Rubies. Essentially, the goal is to wear the same 20 pieces and remix them into 30 outfits for the month of January. I'm nervous because I've never done anything like this and I really want to follow through with the commitment. If you've never read Greater Than Rubies before, take the time to check it out. Caitlin has a great heart for simplification and the reasons and motivation behind the process.

I don't plan on January being a "no-spend" month, but I am hoping for a "low-spend" month for non-essentials like clothes and accessories. I have a bit of Christmas money and gift cards that I want to use first to minimize out of pocket expenses for the month. I'll check in occasionally with my progress for the month.

Whew! So that's what I'm thinking about here at the end of 2014! Any goals or thoughts from you? I'd love to hear from you!

I'm linking up!

still being [molly]

Friday, December 27, 2013

Top 5 Posts of 2013

Happy Friday! I hope you had a great Christmas!

When I looked back at my posts from 2013, I found that these 5 were my most popular ones (not including giveaways or reviews).

1. Small Home Living: Introduction - I wrote about our small home for 31 days (more or less) in October.

2. 7x7 Remix - This was such a great (and hard!) challenge. I remember how hard it was to figure out how to wear these pieces to make and wear outfits for the whole week, but it was so much fun! My second 7x7 remix was a bit easier because shoes didn't count in the total of the 7 pieces.

3. One Piece, Many Ways: Floral Chambray - One focus for me this year was remixing items in my closet. Thanks to Audrey at Putting Me Together, I participated in a couple of these One Piece, Many Ways challenges. It was so much fun and I learned a lot. I am definitely trying to buy fewer, more versatile pieces. My olive dot skirt remix wasn't in the top 5, but it was a pretty popular post, too.

4. Goodwill Shopping: What I Got for Under $25! - If you read here regularly, you know that thrifting is one of my big hobbies. I had a great time spending my Goodwill gift certificate and wrote about it here. In looking back, I am still wearing 4 out of the 6 items I purchased.

5. Show and Tell Tuesday: Maxi Skirt - I still really enjoy sewing and this maxi skirt was such a fun and easy piece to sew and wear. I can definitely see making more of these in the future!

It was fun to look back and see what was read most here and I plan to continue sharing about remixing my wardrobe as well as thrifting, sewing, and more. Thanks so much for reading!

I'm linking up!

Style Elixir

Friday, December 20, 2013

Last Minute Crafting

I've been making a few things for Christmas gifts and decorations and thought I'd share some of what has been finished.

First up, I decided to make a new door swag. I kept seeing these big pretty ones around our house, so decided to give making one a try. For around $35 in materials, this is what I ended up with. I like using blue, silver, and white so I can leave it up through January.

Last weekend we made some washi tape ornaments. Idea from Pinterest. My daughter helped with these and we gave a few to her teachers at school.
I've also made a few of these cute fabric stocking ornaments and have several more solid ones cut.
I ordered some plaid fabric to make infinity scarves for a few ladies on my list (and one for me) but I think my box of fabric might be lost. I ordered it on Dec. 11 and still don't have it. So, I bought some really chunky yarn and am trying to crochet up a couple cowls instead. We'll see if they get finished.
Are you still in the midst of making anything for Christmas presents or decor?
I'm linking up to Inspiration Monday and
 still being [molly]

Filter of Hope

Recently, I was contacted by BuzzBloggers and asked to share information about an organization called Filter of Hope. Several months back, my daughter became aware of the fact that lots of people don't have clean drinking water. She thought we could mail some of our good clean water to these people. Her enthusiasm for the cause is contagious, and I knew she'd want me to take some time to help. Since we can't send water, sharng about this organization is one little way to help out instead.

The issue of clean drinking water is huge. Approximately 1 in 8 people in the world do not have clean drinking water and 90% of these water-related deaths are children. In 2011, the organization discovered a filtration technology called Hollow Fiber Membrane Filtration that works to clean water. It is similar to the filtration used in dialysis and for $40, a Filter of Hope water filter can be used to purify up to 150 gallons of water daily for up to 10 years. Pretty amazing. To read more about how this works, you can visit this section of the web site or watch the video below.

Right now, Filter of Hope is working on a campaign to get filters to those impacted by Typhoon  Haiyan in the Philippines. Filter of Hope partners with a variety of organizations including Samaritan's Purse. I know many of us are considering end of the year donations, so this might be a place to consider. I plan to share more about Filter of Hope with our Missions Committee at church as a possible Missions giving opportunity for our church.

*I did not receive compensation for this post.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What I Wore: Sparkles and Layers

I have two outfits to share this week. It has continued to be extremely cold, so I've been wearing lots of layers. Yesterday, I didn't layer enough and I was too cold! Plus my boots got wet and so did my socks - ick! OK, so here are this week's photos.

I wish I had gotten a better outdoor picture of this outfit, but it was inspired by this pin.

Skinnies: Target, Sparkly Tee: Kohl's, Snakeskin Print Scarf: Target via garage sale, Jacket: Christopher and Banks via Goodwill, Boots: KMart

A couple notes on this outfit - I was so excited that my scarf matched the rose color of the shirt so well! It was a fun surprise when I got dressed. I haven't been wearing this jacket too much because it didn't look enough like the utility jackets I am seeing online. After wearing it with this outfit, I actually really like it and need to wear it more often!

I ended up liking this color combo! Oh, and I really like my black skinnies, too!

Sweater: Kohl's (birthday gift from my husband), Skinnies: Target, Gingham Flannel: Old Navy via Goodwill, Boots: Target, Necklace: Charming Charlie (gift)

Bracelet: Elder-Beerman

So other than the black skinnies, the other pattern I am noticing is too many ponytails! I have really fine, straight hair, but it's pretty thick. I have such a hard time getting many styles to stay - any suggestions? I need some ideas!

I'm linking up!

Remix, Rewear, Restyle at Greater Than Rubies

pleated poppy

Saturday, December 14, 2013

What I Wore: Cold

It's been a challenge getting any outfit pictures this week. I still don't have a good routine for getting photos before it is too dark, and I need to find an indoor place for taking pictures! It was super cold here this week, so I didn't want to go outside to take outfit pics, either.

I did get a couple photos that I thought I'd share from the week.

Shirt: Merona (same, purcased in store for $6), Cardigan: Sears, Jeans: Michael Kors via Goodwill, Necklace: Charming Charlie (gift), Earrings: Avon (same)

Owl Locket from Charming Charlie

 Blouse: Kohl's (similar), Cardigan: KMart, Boots: KMart, Black Skinnies: Denizen (same)

*Some links are affiliate links.

I'm linking up!

Remix, Rewear, Restyle at Greater Than Rubies

pleated poppy

I Feel Pretty at Get Your Pretty On

Monday, December 9, 2013

December Giveaway Day

**Giveaway closed. Winners are Aimee Marie and Garilyn. Congrats and thanks to all those that entered!**

Giveaway Day is here! :)

Thanks for stopping by! If you've never visited here before, my name is Carly. This blog is just a little peek into my life. I share about clothes, thrifting, sewing, books, and more! My mom and I run CJ's Craft Corner on Etsy together, and we love fabric!

This year, we are giving away two prizes.

First up is this DS Quilts Quilter's Quarters in orange, gray, and gold and a Moda Candy mini charm pack in Chocolat by 3 Sisters.

The second prize is this set of 5 pink shimmery, glittery fat quarters.

We might throw in some other goodies, too - a pattern, scraps, candy, etc, so hopefully it will be a fun package!

Open to U.S. addresses only, please.

Enter via the Rafflecopter below through Friday evening! I will notify the winners by Sunday, Dec. 15!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Weekend Update

So here we are at the end of the first week of December. I think it is safe to say that I have failed at the December Photo Project idea. Sigh. It seemed pretty easy - just take one photo a day and post, but I just couldn't keep up with it. I always seemed to remember I needed a new photo at 9:30 at night and then was too tired to post. Oh well.

I kind of feel like I'm behind in other areas, too. We haven't kept up with a daily Advent devotion and our Christmas tree still isn't up. Our shopping isn't done, either. I'm trying to keep Christmas simple overall, so I know we will get there.

I haven't been sewing too much and I don't really have too many handmade gifts lined up for this year. I'm going to try and get an apron and chef's hat done for my daughter since she has outgrown her other ones. I've also been crocheting and I want to make a couple of infinity scarves, but they may not get done in time for Christmas.

We have been reading lot of our Christmas books. I gathered all the ones we own (19) and put Post-It notes on them with numbers 1-19, so we're covered for books for most of the month. We also have an Advent calendar - an old one that I used as a kid - and we've been tucking candy, coins, barrettes, and little trinkets into it for my daughter to discover in the morning. We don't have an Elf on the Shelf, either.

The thing is, I'm not necessary upset about the things we're not doing. Honestly, I probably shouldn't have started the December Photo Project. I am currently reading an advance copy of Money Saving Mom Crystal Paine's new book Say Goodbye to Survival Mode and I know the ideas from the book are influencing my decisions and thought processes right now. I've been trying to pare down in different areas and buy/do less overall. You can sign up for a 7-day challenge on the web site which gives you a feel for the book and some of what it encompasses.

So how are you feeling at the end of this first week of December? Excited? Prepared? Overwhelmed? What kind of Christmas traditions are you saying yes to and which ones are you skipping this year?

I hope you'll stop back on Monday. It's Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

2013 Avon Holiday Gift Guide

This month, my Avon Makeup Maven Challenge is to create a 5 item gift guide of Avon products that would make great gifts this season. If you've read here for awhile, you know I wear a lot of Avon makeup and jewelry and I am pretty excited about the gifts in this guide. I'd love to receive any of them for Christmas this year and think they would make great gifts for people on my list, too. All of the items are under $40!

2013 Avon Holiday Gift Guide

1. Wrap and Style Three Pack Scarves - $29.99: If you've read this blog before, you know that I love scarves. They are my favorite accessory. Add one to a simple pair of jeans and a tee and you're set! The combination of leopard, red, and green in this set is great. Divide it up to give to different people or give all three to a special lady.
2. Pretty in Neutrals Makeup Palette - $22.50: My mom bought this palette for my aunt this year. It includes 24 eyeshadows, 4 lip glosses, 4 blushes, 2 bronzers, and applicators, plus a built in mirror. It has everything you need to put together a polished, put together face. It is small enough to tuck into a tote or larger purse.
3. Night at the Ballet Bracelet - $9.99: With faux pearls and rhinestones, this elegant stretch bracelet is a classic style that would work for anyone. We received this in our order today and I was very impressed with how pretty this bracelet is.
4. Avon Signature Collection Mailyn Tote - $39.99: This is my "splurge" gift, but for $40, it's really not that expensive. I love the look of this bag. It seems so elegant and classic. I always carry around bag(s) for work, church, etc. and this one would definitely be an upgrade for me.
5. Christmas Scents Votive Gift Set - $12.99: This is my favorite time of year for burning candles. They make the house seem so festive and cozy. This set includes votive candles in Joyful Holly Berry, Vanilla Buttercream, Christmas Pine, and Peppermint Twist. It's all packaged up and ready to give!
So there you have it! My Avon Holiday Gift Guide for this year. Did you see anything you'd like to give or get?
*These links are not linked to my Avon store; they link directly to avon.com.  :)

I'm linking to Fashion Friday!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What I Wore: Scarf

I just have one simple outfit to share today. I've been in a bit of a rut, but I'm not sure why. I think I just need to keep it simple and not make picking out an outfit too complicated.

I have been in a decluttering mood lately, and I think I am going to organize my scarf collection and weed out a couple that don't get worn too much. Then, I want to make a list of a couple new ones I'd like to find. I really like this cozy solid one I won from Aleks Handmade. I'd like something similar in a different solid shade. A plaid scarf and a floral scarf on a black background are also on the list.

Pants: Dockers, Shirt: Croft and Barrow, Scarf: Aleks Handmade, Boots: KMart (Just bought these and they are really cute in person! And comfy!), Bracelet: Elder-Beerman, Earrings: Avon
On a side note, I need to find a new place to take my photos this winter. My hydrangea is looking pretty sad these days. :)
I'm linking up!
pleated poppy

Monday, December 2, 2013

December Photo Project: Day 2

We have almost enough Christmas books to read one every day until Christmas.

She was writing a story abut the Nutcracker while I read to her.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Photo Project: Day 1

Trying something new this December...you can read more about the December Photo Project here.

 Starting some decorating today. I love candles and cozy light.

December Photo Project 2013

Giving Handmade

We are so excited to have our shop be a part of Giving Handmade at Let's Eat Grandpa! Hop over to check out all the shops, find some discounts, and enter a great giveaway for lots of prizes!!


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