Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What I Wore: Simple

It is finally getting warm here, but I have been in a weird wardrobe funk. Maybe it's been the changing seasons or something, but I have so many "wants" on my clothing wishlist right now. Kind of strange for me, but I've been working on getting back on track. First, I have thrifted some great pieces over the last couple of weeks, even some things that I didn't ever expect to find at Goodwill or another resale shop. Second, I've been focusing on keeping it simple. Sometimes, I make getting dressed too complicated. There is definitely something to be said for combining basic, neutral pieces to create easy, polished looks. Here's what I've been wearing!


Top: Kohl's, White Cropped Pants: LOFT (Goodwill), Tank: Old Navy, Flats: Payless

I love these cognac flats, but will need to replace them soon. This striped top was part of my Mother's Day present. Looking forward to wearing it a lot. Oh, and I really like these white pants!


I got this new watch at my last Avon sales meeting for making President's Club for the first time. So excited! I love the wrap style, neutral color, and snakeskin print. It's coming out soon, so check out the Avon web site if you like it.


Skirt: Nicole Miller (garage sale), Chambray: Kohl's, Necklace: Avon, Cognac Wedges: Merona (Goodwill)

I have been super inspired by the blog Un-Fancy lately. She wears lots of neutral, basic combos that look so stylish! I combined a black skirt, chambray shirt, and cognac wedges to create this outfit. I got the skirt at a garage sale a year or two ago for $0.50 and couldn't believe when I found these leather Merona wedges at Goodwill last year. I wore it to act super silly in front of a big group of kids at a Right to Read week assembly. ;)


Pants: Mossimo, Shirt: Worthington, Sandals: Born, Scarf: Maurices (Goodwill)
This is one of my favorite outfit combos. I have had this shirt for so long, but don't wear it too much. When I found this scarf at Goodwill, I knew it would go with lots of my clothes. Just adding the scarf seemed to pull this outfit together for me.


Close-up of the scarf. I love the colors!

How are you dressing for late spring and summer? Any great outfit formulas you fall back on?

I am linking up!

Remix, Rewear, Restyle at Greater Than Rubies

pleated poppy

I Feel Pretty at Get Your Pretty On

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New Winner!

I never heard from the original giveaway winner, so I had to draw a new one!

The new winner is:


Laura! Congrats! I have sent you an email. :)

Thanks for your patience and Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Giveaway Winner!

I haven't forgotten that I need to pick a giveaway winner. Thanks to everyone that commented! I loved reading all of the things that you have going on!

The May Giveaway Day winner is:

BloggerTiffany T. said...
I wasn't home for mothers day, but I did end up buying some pretty chopsticks in Little Tokyo to give to my mom when she helped me move out a few days later!

Congrats, Tiffany! Please contact me by Thursday to claim your prize!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Summer Prep

Our school year is winding down here and I am so looking forward to spending more time with my daughter this summer! I've been doing some research, taking notes, and getting ideas for some fun activities, plus learning things I'd like to do with her this summer.

She's signed up for tumble and ballet for the summer session and she's excited to take ballet with a real ballerina! She also is taking swimming lessons and will participate in summer reading at the library where I work. Our church's Vacation Bible School is the last week of July as well.

I know I want to give her lots of chances to read and keep her skills sharp over the summer. I am thinking of putting together workboxes like these so that on weekdays she will have a small amount of structured learning each day. I also have a tentative list of chapter books I'd like to read aloud to her. Here's what I have so far:
  • Ramona Forever
  • Ramona's World
  • Little House in the Big Woods
  • Ivy and Bean
  • Ella Enchanted
  • Rebecca to the  Rescue
  • Changes for Rebecca
I'm also hoping we can make it to the beach, a minor league baseball game, picnic, local festivals, and our local amusement park. I know the days of summer are going to be here and gone before we know it!

What are you looking forward to this summer?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What I Wore: Pop of Color

It was really warm at the beginning of the week and quite a bit cooler today. I reorganized my closet a bit earlier this week, and I think it has been helpful for seeing options. I also have been doing a lot of shopping (mostly looking) and unfortunately a lot of returning. I want to only keep things that I really love, fit great, and work in my wardrobe. More on all of this later. On to the outfits!


I have really been trying to focus on core pieces lately and most of them are neutral, but I do really love color, too. This cobalt top is one of my favorites.

Top: Target, Necklace: Penney's, Earrings: Avon, Pants: Limited via garage sale, Flats: Target


Top: Target (same as above in a different print), Black skinnies: Denizen at Target, Cardigan: New York and Company via garage sale, Shoes: Payless, Earrings: Avon

I have been trying to track down a comfy, well-made gray tee with a round neckline and a colored tee, too. Any ideas?

I'm linking up!

Remix, Rewear, Restyle at Greater Than Rubies

I Feel Pretty at Get Your Pretty On

pleated poppy

FashionFriday2014

Style Elixir

Monday, May 12, 2014

May Giveaway Day

http://www.sewmamasew.com/may2014/MayGiveawayDay.jpg

It's Giveaway Day! This is always such a fun time. I love reading your comments and entering other giveaways!

Here's a brief introduction if you've never been here before! I've been blogging here at Faith, Family, and Frugality since 2008. I love sewing, thrifting, style, reading, and more. I'm a wife and mama and a children's librarian. My mom and I have been running our Etsy shop, CJ's Craft Corner, together since August 2008. We'd love it if you stopped by!

On to the giveaway!


I'm giving away a fat quarter of the Farmdale fabric, a fat quarter of the floral DS quilts, a half yard of the Juliana Horner feather fabric, and over three quarters of a yard of the aqua tonal bird print.

Giveaway is open through Friday at 9:00 p.m. EST. Shipping to United States only, please. To enter, leave me a comment about your Mother's Day or the thing you are most looking forward to this spring/summer.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Capsule Wardrobe Thoughts


*I started this post over a month ago and have done even more reading about capsule wardrobes in the meantime! I am just fascinated with capsules and reducing my wardrobe and being selective about what I buy, etc, etc. I am going to go ahead and publish this as it, but will probably be sharing some additional information + an update in the next couple of weeks, if not sooner. :)

Over the last few years, I've done lots of work on my wardrobe. I've weeded out things that don't work for me and continue to try and make good, sound purchases that really fit my style and my life. To help in this process, I've been working through some of the questions posed by Caitlin at Greater Than Rubies in her How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe series. (This is a great series and I would highly recommend it, plus Greater Than Rubies as a whole.)

In the anatomy section, she reviews a list of 7 core pieces. As I looked through my wardrobe, I decided on these 7 pieces for my core:
  • Black dress pants
  • Gray cardigan (completer)
  • Chambray button down
  • Light gray tee (I need a new one.)
  • Black short sleeve jersey dress
  • Black floral print skirt (?)
  • Snakeskin print bow blouse (tank) (?)
I am not positive about the tank and skirt being true "core" pieces, so I am adding the question marks there. :)

Next up, the evaluation portion asked us to answer some questions. The first question that I worked on really yielded some answers for me. Basically, it asks each person what unique things do you need to consider for your life and how does this impact the type of wardrobe pieces you need? I work part-time in an environment that requires business casual or dressy casual attire most days. I typically work 4-5 days a week, but some days, I only work an hour or less. In between, I'm taking my daughter to and from school, working on our Etsy shop, doing laundry, church meetings, volunteering at her school, etc.

I only like to get dressed once each day and I don't usually change after work is finished for the day. In addition, lots of my time at work is spent with kids age 5 and under - which I love! :) However, it means I'm the floor, picking up toys, bending down, and so on. So that brings its own wardrobe requirements.

In a nutshell, I like pieces that are washable, no iron, comfortable, polished, and modest. I prefer skirts and dresses that are knee length or longer, higher rounded necklines, and comfortable pants. Identifying all of this helped me to realize I don't have enough pants for my work and church days. I can usually only wear jeans 1-2 days a week. Most of the skirts I have aren't long enough for me to feel 100% comfortable in and I only have a couple of dresses (black and navy) that fit the bill. I also need to be more careful about not picking v-necks or other necklines on shirts that require me to wear something like a scarf to be comfortable at work.

My favorite outfits are black skinnies, boots or flats, a cute top, with a scarf or necklace or a print blouse and dress pants. I also really like maxi skirts with a tee and a cardigan.

All of this is going to help me to revise my wishlist of pieces I'd like to help round out my wardrobe.

How would you answer some of these questions? Does it help you to put together a capsule wardrobe for yourself?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Miami Fashion Challenge

I was contacted this week by Kendra Thornton of Thornton PR, a travel expert who has been featured on Nate Berkus' and Tyra Banks' television shows, to participate in her "Miami Fashion Challenge." Below is the information she provided about her upcoming trip and the challenge itself.

"I'm satisfied with being with my family and enjoying a great dinner, but my husband wanted to go all out for this Mother's Day. I'm actually happy he did because now we are headed to Miami for a spectacular romantic vacation on the beach. We have been planning the trip together using gogobot to find different activities and places to visit. The website's reviews and user friendly social media made planning effortless. We even found our hotel there the Delano South Beach. As part of the trip, I'm creating a fashion challenge to give a chance to design three looks to wear while I'm out in Miami. I can't wait to see the different outfits that you select. To help you choose, these are some particulars of my Mother's Day getaway!

My husband and I especially liked the Delano South Beach Hotel because of its atmosphere. I don't think any hotel looked as tranquil and lavish as this one. The hotel has one thing that no other hotel has. The rooftop spa known as Club Essentia made me cry when my husband announced he got me a spa package as a special gift for Mother's Day. Now I truly can't wait to go.

In addition to spending time at the hotel and lounging on the beach, we're going to get out and explore everything we can in South Beach and Miami. There are a variety of natural parks, shopping areas and gourmet restaurants. The nightlife here is actually incredibly fun. There are so many bars and dance clubs located right on the beach. I'm going to have a lot of fun with my husband, and I hope that one of the outfits you all select is a gorgeous dressed up look to really knock him off his feet.
My Miami getaway is just a few days away, so it's especially important to get some looks that I can bring along as quickly as possible. I will be showing off selections in photos from the trip. It's going to be a fantastic way to spend time with my husband and enjoy time under the sun just as summer rolls around."

I had a great time imagining and creating some outfits for her trip, so here are the looks I put together! In keeping with my blog focus, I tried to keep the outfits affordable (except for that clutch in the "shopping" look!), modest, and comfortable.

Summer Style


For the "sightseeing" look, I chose breezy print palazzo pants and a linen blend tank and added straw accessories, sunglasses, flat sandals, and simple accessories.

For the "shopping" look, I used a geometric print maxi dress for the focus and accented it with neutral wedges, tortoiseshell sunglasses, and some fabulous gold and turquoise accessories.

For the "night out" look, I found a pretty navy dress from Modcloth. I love that this dress can be worn in a variety of ways and would be a great addition to anyone's closet after the trip. I selected pearl and gold accesories, plus flat metallic sandals, and a neutral clutch to finish the look.

I had so much fun putting these looks together and dreaming a bit of warm summer weather. Have a great trip, Kendra!

Any favorite pieces in the outfits above? Anything you might like in your closet?

I'm linking up!

FashionFriday2014

Friday, May 2, 2014

What I Wore: Cool Spring

It's pretty chilly here, so I'm still wearing lots of cardigans and scarves to keep warm and look springy. I love a few of the new pieces I bought in April - including white pants! I've never owned white pants, but after seeing some great looks in the Spring Style Me Pretty Challenge from Get Your Pretty On, I decided to pick up a LOFT pair I saw at Goodwill. I think I will enjoy wearing them!

 

Skirt: Made by Me, Cardigan: Moth (Anthropologie via Goodwill), Black Tee: Merona, Earrings: Mejer, Shoes: Payless


Denim Jacket: Macy's, Pants: Merona (via Goodwill), Shoes: White Mountain (Goodwill), Tee: Merona (ThredUp), Floral Scarf: Clothes Mentor, Earrings: Avon

My husband was making me laugh when we took this photo. :)


Pants: LOFT (Goodwill), Blouse: Apt. 9 (Goodwill), Sweater: a.n.a/Penney's, Shoes: Payless, Earrings: Avon

I'm linking up!

Remix, Rewear, Restyle at Greater Than Rubies

Fashion Friday at Musings of a Housewife

Friday's Fab Favorites at Style Elixir

Currently Loving at Happy Medley

Book Review: Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall

 

I have been looking forward to reading and reviewing this book! Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall is the fourth book in the Amish Vines and Orchards series. I've read the other three books and have been anticipating the end of the series! The book begins where book three left off, so there are many situations up in the air and things that need to be resolved.

This has been one of my favorite series of Amish fiction that I have read recently. The characters are very real, full of strengths and flaws, and after reading all the books, I feel that I understand each character fairly well. Leah and Landon take a more central role in this story, which I really enjoyed. I also appreciated how Rhoda is learning to deal with her intuition and the good that comes from it as a result. The plot in this book is suspensful and interesting, much like the others in the series and makes the reader interested in seeing what is next. That being said, I was satisfied with the ending of the book and feel like each of the characters storylines were brought to a good conclusion. I am a little sad to see this series of books end. I am definitely looking forward to reading other Cindy Woodsmall books in the future and would recommend her novels!

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review; all opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April Clothing Budget

Easter marked the end of my no-clothes buying for Lent. I definitely did some fun shopping while my daughter was off school on spring break. I used up my Macy's gift card on a couple of items as well as $10 off $10 coupon at Penney's to get a necklace. I found some good deals at Clothes Mentor, Penney's, and Goodwill, too!

I don't have photos of all of the items I bought since many were thrifted. I will have some photos of them being worn, soon, though!

April Budget



I used up the remainder of the Macy's gift card I won from Go Chic or Go Home to get:
- Colorful necklace
-Fossil Key Per flap bag - This was my best deal this month. The bag is regular $88 and was marked down to $19.99. The store was running a 20% off promo on clearance bags, plus another 20% off with coupon, bringing the total down to around $13.00. I had $7 remaining on my gift card, so it cost me $6.60 of gift money. It is actually a replacement item from a return from Christmas as my Merona bag I purchased last month had to be returned when the lining started to rip. I am hopeful this will hold up well. I've been wanting to try a Fossil bag for awhile.

I also got the following out of my regular budget:
-Cream and gold statement earrings from Target: $2.00 (clearance + Cartwheel)
-Crystal and gold necklace from Penney's: $1.29 (after $10 off $10 coupon)
-Worthington polka dot tee from Penney's: $4.26
-Dockers gray pants from Goodwill: $4.61
-LOFT white pants from Goodwill: $4.61
-Scarf and button down from Clothes Mentor: $6.94
-A.N.A. black cardigan from Penney's: $5.33
-Essentials from Target: $6.96

Total spent for April: $36.00

It was fun to get back into shopping after a little break. I'm in the process of updating and revising my clothing wish list, so in May I'm hoping to pick up a few more of those pieces. My goal is to spend around 80% of my monthly budget on core pieces (and maybe spend a little more on them) and use the remaining 20% for accessories. I am also considering the idea of going to a quarterly budget, too since I've seen lots of people have success with them.

I'm linking up to Budgeting Bloggers at Franish!
 

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