April 2017 Budget

This month has been busy, so I haven’t been particularly good about tracking my shopping. So I’m pretty sure this is where the budget stands…better get back to using my spreadsheet to keep myself accountable! Anyway, here are a few things I added to my closet in April.

black leather flats {BCBGeneration via eBay} $42 (retailed for $69) After a few failed attempts, I finally found a pair of black leather flats, which have been on my wishlist for a while. I actually own these exact flats in two other colors: nude leather and black suede, so when they popped up in a desperate eBay search, I ordered them immediately. For those who are curious, they are called the “Nassau” flat, and I highly recommend them! Just be sure to order up a half size.

scalloped tank in rose {eri + ali via Anthropologie} $48 ($58 + $10 off promotion) I don’t typically shop at Anthropologie, but there’s a location near my house, so I wandered in there looking for housewares one day and happened upon this brand. The material is a thick jersey, so it’s not see-through at all–a rare find for pale pink items, it seems. I initially bought this top, but the “swing” shape was way too exaggerated such that it looked like a maternity top! I opted for this one instead. It’s a bit more limited in its versatility, but I think it will be nice to have throughout the spring and summer.

striped tulip sleeve striped tee in whisper white {Loft} $24 ($39.50 + 40% off sale) I’ll admit, this was something I admired on others’ Instagram feeds, then promptly bought it for myself as soon as a good sale came along. I never met a stripe I didn’t like, and the fun detail on the sleeves make this tee a little extra special. I’m seriously contemplating buying it in red as well…

striped pom-pom tee in smoke heather {Loft} $17 ($39.50 marked down to $35 + 50% off sale) Gray is increasingly becoming one of my favorite neutrals (in fact, I’m wearing a gray peplum top as I type this post). The pom-pom edge was just too cute to pass up when Loft had its 50% off + free shipping promotion over Easter weekend. I have a feeling this will become a weekend favorite.

studio tee in ivory/navy stripe {J.Crew Factory} $13 ($29.50 on sale for $12.95) Yes, I bought two blue striped tees in one month. To be fair, my current navy striped tee was a thrift find from four years ago and is starting to show its age.

the returns

This was yet another month with several returns. I returned the aforementioned Anthro top, as well as this top and these pants (in jungle green) from Gap. The top was way too big and the pants were way too form-fitting to be professional. Inconsistent sizing much? Oh, well.

the extras

I made some cash by sending in a few bags to ThredUp, so I am planning on use those extra funds to purchase this trench coat (yes, I’m still searching for the perfect one!). Here’s hoping this one is what I’m looking for, as I’m getting tired of this fruitless hunt.

April 2017 total: $144

2017 total: $566

Remaining budget: $1434

Despite not keeping very close track of my purchases, it wasn’t a very spendy month, evidently (unless I’ve forgotten something, of course). Tees with special details are my jam lately. For better or for worse, I’ve embraced academia’s casual dress code and let myself wear jeans on days I don’t have important meetings or participant testing visits. As a result, “fancy” tees are what works for my current lifestyle, and that’s what I’ve been buying. I’m SO happy to have found the black leather flats I so desperately needed. I think I’ve worn them ten times already.

As for next month, I’m due for another wishlist post. The only thing I can think of that’s lacking in my wardrobe right now is flat sandals. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not much of a heels girl anymore, so the wedge sandals I’ve relied on in summers past are not looking all that appealing. I might hit up Target one of these days to see what they have to offer, although I always prefer genuine leather when it comes to footwear.

What did you buy in April?

March 2017 Budget

Well, this month’s clothing purchases ended up being a bit of a hodgepodge. I had had my eye on about half of these items for a while, and they happened to go on sale. The other purchases were a bit more impulsive…

the keepers

blue ruffle henley {Loft} $15 ($54.50 marked down to $49.99 + 50% off promo + $10 rewards) I had seen this top around blogland for a few months now, and while I loved it, I really couldn’t justify paying much for it, considering its similarity to this jeweled version already in my closet. The right combination of sales and rewards cash occurred, and I decided to go for it. I’m not quite ready to get rid of the aforementioned bedazzled version of this top, so I put it in storage for now. If I don’t feel compelled to bring it out of storage in the next 6 months or so, I’ll sell or donate it. Such intricate compromises are examples of my efforts to whittle down my wardrobe…

white ruffle henley {Loft} $10 ($49.50 marked down to $39.99 + 50% off promo + $10 rewards) I have no idea why the white version of this top is $5 cheaper, as it seems identical to the top above, just in a different color. Anyway, I saw infinite layering possibilities with this top, so I added it to my order at the same time that I ordered the one described above. It is a bit sheer on its own, but considering its inevitable function as a layer underneath cardigans and such, that aspect doesn’t bother me so much. I have the same dilemma with its similarity to another item in my wardrobe–the blingy version of this top that I already owned is also banished to storage for awhile. See it on IG here. 

black crossbody bag {Sole Society via Nordstrom} $50 (full price!) After stalking this bag for months and it never going on sale, ultimately I ended up going with a different bag. I read the reviews for the BP bag, and it seemed that it had a few issues: namely, the strap is too long and opening the bag is a little fussy. Considering the fact that I’m usually juggling a 15-month-old and all his accouterments when we’re out and about, the idea of a bag that’s not easy access was not appealing. So the clever marketing wizards on the Nordstrom website directed me to this bag instead. It has plenty of room and feels pretty sturdy. Plus, I like the cute braided zipper pulls. Consider this wishlist item fulfilled.

striped peplum tee {Old Navy} $12 ($19.94 on sale for $19 + 40% off promo) I included this top in my recent Old Navy review and was undecided on keeping it at the time. It was originally added as “order filler”–you know, the items you add just to get free shipping with the intention of returning. But, as luck would have it, it’s the only item I liked from the order. I kept thinking about it when I went to get dressed in the morning, so I decided that was a sign that I should keep it. I’ve already worn it multiple times in the few weeks I’ve had it! See it on IG here.

black rain boots {Hunter via eBay} $45 (retail for $140) As usual, Alabama has seen quite a bit of rain this winter, so I’ve had plenty of opportunities to wear my other pairs of rain boots–six times since January 1st, to be precise. As much as I love my green Hunters and my glossy red Joules pair, I’m discovering that sometimes it would be nice to have a plain ol’ black pair. Just out of curiosity, I thought I’d check eBay for a good deal…and I found one! The pair I found were brand new in box, for less than a third of retail price. SOLD. These were not a “need” per se, but I’m pretty confident they’ll get good use.

monogrammed pullover {Marley Lilly} $40 ($79.99 on sale for $39.99) This was another item I’d been stalking for months, hoping it would be discounted to a reasonable price. I love a monogram as much as anyone, but that alone is not enough reason to pay 80 bucks for a pullover! It was finally included in a 50% off sale, so I decided that was a sufficient discount for me to order it. It’s not exactly the chicest item in my closet, but I think it will be in regular rotation on the weekends. As a bonus, it’s a near perfect match to my New Balance for J.Crew sneakers 🙂

the returns

Lots of online orders didn’t work out this month. First, I’ve been trying to find a pair of decent quality cubic zirconia stud earrings. I tend to wear my pearl pair almost daily, so I was looking for something similarly versatile and simple. Apparently, I have abnormally small earlobes, because everything I tried looked gigantic on my ears, including this pair from Nordstrom. So, back they went.

I put in an order at Loft that was all returned. I tried this trench in both a 0 and a 2 (the 2 fit best), but ultimately, I decided I want something that’s at least water resistant. The floral lining sure is cute though! I also tried this top and this top in my never-ending search for a blush blouse. Both were too sheer for my liking, and I’d rather not have to wear a camisole underneath considering how hot it gets around here in the summertime.

Finally, I also returned this coat, this top, and this dress from my Old Navy review. I’ll spare you the details to avoid being redundant, but feel free to click over if you’re interested.

the extras

I had explained my dilemma regarding the cubic zirconia studs to my mom, and being the clever lady that she is, found this set of three at Belk and gave them to me. She said they were something like 70% off at the time too. She’s a shopping ninja, I tell you.

I sold a few things on Poshmark, and I put the profits toward a like-new pair of red leather flats and a replacement black peplum top.

March 2017 total: $172

2017 total: $422

Remaining budget: $1578

Most of my purchases this month were relatively well-considered, so I’m feeling pretty satisfied with the results of my shopping for March. As for next month, I’m really hoping I end up finding a trench that works for me. I tried shopping for one in person (a rare occurrence these days) but with no luck. I’m very close to pulling the trigger on this one or this one. Pricey, yes, but that may be what it takes to get a weather-proof trench that will last. Plus, I have a few items on consignment at ThredUp, so with any luck I might have some extra funds to play with.

What did you buy in March?

Linking up with Budgeting Bloggers.

old navy review, volume 2

It’s been almost two years since my last “try-on” post, and I happened to have just bought a new full-length mirror for our bedroom…so how about another?

I’m not always a fan of Old Navy’s offerings, but this spring, they’ve had a few items worth trying. They recently had a 40% off promo for cardholders, so I ordered the items you see below.

trench coat in clay mate, $35 (size small)

I mentioned in my most recent shopping list post that I’m in search of a new trench coat. I spotted this one for such a steal, I had to try it. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly what I’m looking for–it’s not waterproof (just regular cotton), and the fit leaves something to be desired. Still, it’s a decent quality coat for the price. I also like the striped lining.

Verdict: return


relaxed peplum-hem top in black, $11 (size small)

I just completed another closet purge, and one of the items I banished was my black peplum top. It wasn’t a perfect fit when I bought it, and now that I’ve lost weight and stopped breastfeeding, it’s just all kinds of wonky. Plus, the heavy material limited its use. So now I have that hole in my closet. I like this one with lace trim (that you can’t see in these grainy iPhone photos), but the material is what ruined it for me. It’s pretty scratchy, and I know myself: if it’s not comfortable, I won’t wear it.

Verdict: return
relaxed peplum-hem tee in white stripe, $12 (size small)

Honestly, the last thing I need is another striped tee, but this one is a little bit different, right? It’s pretty lightweight, so I can see myself wearing this well into spring, despite the long sleeves. This particular color/pattern is sold out online, but you might be able to snag one in stores (for just $7, no less!). My only concern is that the sleeves are a bit tight considering I usually end up rolling up my sleeves during the day. Whether I keep this depends on how the rest of my spending goes this month.

Verdict: maybe


crew-neck tee dress in red stripe, $11 (size small)

I added this to my order because my current red striped dress has shrunk a bit over the past few washes, making it a bit too short for work. I’d love to find a replacement…but sadly, I don’t think this is it. I had read the reviews indicating that this dress runs small, but I veer toward in extra-small in Old Navy’s sizing, so I thought a small would be safe. It fits, but it’s definitely more “body-con” than any of my other tee-shirt dresses. I also think the tall sizing might have been better to get a bit of added length. Finally, the color is not the true, cherry red I want–it leans toward orange-y red.

Verdict: return

So this order turned out to be a bit of a bust, but at least it gave me something to blog about. What would you keep?

shopping list–march 2017

It’s been two months since I last posted a “shopping list,” but thus far I’ve managed to purchase only one of the three items on that list. I’m still hoping that the bag in that post will go on sale and the earrings will no longer be backordered at some point. I’ve also identified a few other items that might be nice to have in my wardrobe.


black flats 

I’ve mentioned this in my last few budget posts: I’m in need of comfy, all-purpose, preferably genuine leather, black flats. My current pair (seen here) is by Dr. Scholl’s, but the leather is quite stiff, and they fit my foot awkwardly. This search is proving to be more difficult than anticipated, as I am picky about toe shape too. I want them to be pointed toe, but not too pointy, if that makes any sense. I’m considering this pair currently–just waiting for a good promo!

blush blouse

This time last year, I also was in search of a top in this hue. I ended up finding a blush tee that I like (see it here), but it’s a bit sheer and casual. I’m hoping to find a more versatile blouse that could be worn with jeans or skirts. The trouble is, I’m not totally sold on ruffles or bell sleeves, which seem to be details incorporated into every blush blouse I’ve seen lately. Suggestions for where to look for more basic silhouettes are welcome!

trench coat

Technically, I own a trench coat already (seen here), but I never seem to reach for it. I think it’s because I’d rather have something more classic: double-breasted, tortoise or brown buttons. I’m planning on selling my old one, as it’s really a nice coat, just not working for me. I might trade it in for this one or this one.

What are you lusting after lately?