Monday, September 30, 2013

Summer to Fall

dress: Target, shoes & cardigan: Old Navy, belt: Forever 21, necklace: Charming Charlie

This dress was my birthday present to myself and part of my July budget. Although it hasn't made an appearance on the blog outside of July's budget post, it's gotten a fair amount of use the past few months. It's casual enough for weekends and the sleeves make it an easy option for work on those hot summer days. My favorite thing about this dress is how comfortable it is, but isn't that everyone's favorite thing about a maxi dress? This time I went for some dressier flats, a cardigan, and switched out the belt that came with the dress for a dressier one. I've been seeing a lot of great posts about transitioning summer pieces into fall and I have to say it inspired me to create this look. I'm thankful for the cooler temperatures and am excited to bring back the layering!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Finds Under 50

scarf - gift
dress - Old Navy: $14.97
boots - Target: $14.99
bracelet - Forever 21: $2.80
watch - gift

I realized that I am not ready for weather cool enough for tights, but I am definitely welcoming weather cool enough for boots! Apparently this outfit is my compromise. I found this dress after heading to Old Navy while I was on the hunt for cute new flats (and found them - more on those later I'm sure!) and managed to find this dress 50% off and final sale. Apparently it was a style sold only online, but for $15 the fact that I couldn't return it didn't phase me. When I got up to the cash register, the cashier made a comment about it being a maternity dress. Wait, what? After laughing about it with her, I decided that since it fit and I liked it that I didn't care! After buying the dress and heading out to my car, I checked the tags and found nowhere that it said it was maternity. Maybe she saw the M for the size and thought it was maternity? That's what I'll tell myself at least!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Life Lately

shirt: Old Navy, jeans: American Eagle, shoes: Target

I thought today’s Blogtember prompt was fitting, especially considering this recent post in which I fessed up to not feeling the greatest lately. But first, I'm throwing in an outfit picture from this past Friday, just because I think that makes this post much more interesting than just reading what I have to say. :) Since the post mentioned above I have to admit that I haven’t made any drastic changes, but the smaller ones have allowed me to notice a significant change in the way I feel about my body and my attitude. Here’s what I’ve found has worked so far:
No bookstore lunches - I’m happy to report that in the past month I’ve only purchased my easy mac from the bookstore once and had a granola bar and water along with it instead of chips and soda. My alternative has been a lot of tuna salad sandwiches from the nearby hospital cafeteria, but I’m ok with that. Not only is that healthier because I add a bunch of spinach to the sandwich, the cafeteria is two blocks away so it’s excuse to spend the 20 minutes it takes to walk there, get my lunch, and walk back away from my desk. Not to mention it gives me the chance to soak in some sunshine along the way!
Lunchtime blogging - A great mental break for the work day, which helps me focus throughout the afternoon. I also find myself feeling a little more creative during this time, rather than waiting until I get home when I’m tired and just want to hang out in my sweatpants. You may not notice a difference in my content, but I feel better about it when I’m able to put some time and energy into a post during the day!

Workouts - One of my closest friends and I have decided to get together after work each Wednesday to run/walk just a few miles. It's more than I would do if I came right home (which would be nothing) and it's a great excuse for some girl time each week. We've only gotten to do this twice so far, but it will be a standing weekly commitment. I've also been playing sand volleyball every Thursday with some people I work with. Although I can't imagine it would ever do wonders for my fitness level, it's a fun way to burn a few calories and get to know some co-workers. I haven't been great about fitting in any other kind of physical activity, but this has been a good start!
A short vacation - During those few days out in California I really made myself completely forget about work and just focus on enjoying time with my husband. Spending time wandering around with him with no particular agenda, just doing whatever we decide sounds fun for the moment, is one of my favorite things to do in any city. 
There's no denying that I still have a lot of room for improvement - don't we all though? 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

San Francisco Trip: Days 3 and 4

Day 3
Day 4

I had every intention of posting part 2 of our trip earlier, but then a friend from work suggested happy hour on Friday and we spent the rest of the weekend down in northern Kentucky and Cincinnati for a bachelorette/bachelor party for my sister-in-law and her fiance. A fun weekend for sure! So finally, days 3 and 4 of our San Francisco trip:

Day 3: On Friday Kyle and I decided to head down to the Embarcadero and make our way up to Fisherman's Wharf before heading to an OSU party another cousin planned for Friday evening. When we got to the Embarcadero, we walked through the ferry building, which is pretty much set up like a market, with lots of little places to buy unique food and drinks. While we were there we saw Ohio State fans everywhere! We started talking to a retired couple from Columbus while we were on the bus going towards the wharf and talked them into checking out Pier 23 Cafe with us. I don't consider myself an expert on what to do in San Francisco by any means, but that place is one that I would strongly recommend to anyone! It's close enough to Fisherman's Wharf that you can walk there, but just far enough away to not be too much of a magnet for tourists. The best part is the view because it's right on the water. I wish I could start every afternoon with a beer and that view!  

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking through the America's Cup set up and just wandering around the wharf, then headed back towards the baseball stadium to check out another bar before heading to a party my cousin was hosting nearby. My family members who live out there grew up here in Ohio, so the Ohio theme was definitely strong that night!

Day 4: The game! We left San Francisco and headed to Berkeley around 12:30, which gave us time to get there, walk around Cal's campus, enjoy a really quick beer, then headed into the game. This was the first away Ohio State game we've ever been to, but I have to say that there were so many Buckeye fans that it hardly felt like a road game! The band actually traveled for that game, which probably helped it feel like home. We had great weather, the majority of the Cal fans there were really friendly, and of course we won so that made it even better! My favorite part may have been after the game, when the team came over in front of the band for the alma mater like they always do. It instantly reminded me of sticking around for that to sing along with friends after home games all through's hard to believe that it's been 8 years since my last home game as a student! 

After the game we just headed back to the city for drinks with my cousins and their friends' who were visiting for the game as well. We went to a bar that felt a little nice for everyone to show up in all our game day gear, but we had a great view of the lit up Bay Bridge and nobody seemed to mind our attire, so we had a great time.  It was a great ending to a great trip, and I look forward the next one! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dressed Up Tee

tee: Target, blazer: Sam's Club, pants: New York & Co., shoes: Old Navy

I wanted to participate in Bri's Third Thursday Trend - dressed up tees. When I started getting ready this morning all I could come up with was to add a blazer. That's it. I swear I even had accessories that were in my purse and I just never got around to putting them on. It was just that kind of day...I know you've had them too! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

San Francisco Trip: Days 1 and 2

Day 1
Day 2

It's become clear that recovering from our California trip is taking just about as long as our trip lasted...that's not good! I thought it would be fun to do a recap of our trip and after working on it decided that I had too much to say about the trip for one post, so I broke it down into two. In this post I'll talk about our first two days in the city, then will post about our last two days there in the next one.

Day 1: The first few nights we stayed with my cousin who lives in the Noe Valley neighborhood, which may quickly be becoming my favorite area. Within a few blocks of her house is 24th Street which has plenty of adorable boutiques and coffee shops. While my husband headed out for a run that first morning, I decided to head out for a walk and enjoy the scenery. My workout ended up including jogging up a block of stairs and my reward was not being able to walk without noticeably sore legs until Sunday. Go figure. Afternoon plans involved a Giants game, but not before catching a drink at my favorite place - 21st Amendment. Their watermelon wheat is my favorite beer and they always have some other great local brew that my husband enjoys.

Day 2: On Thursday I started out the day playing with my cousins' adorable little foster kittens. They were so cute and it was hard to not bring one back with us! We headed out that day to go shopping.  My cousin and I just kept dropping my husband off at a bar before we moved on to the next store.  We started out downtown, wandered through a few department stores, but sadly didn't make it into the largest Old Navy store I've ever been in (The women's section is probably bigger than most stores I've seen!). For the best though - this was definitely a trip on a budget and what fun is it to go in your favorite store if you can't really let yourself buy anything. One of the things I love about shopping downtown is that there are so many street vendors with handmade, inexpensive jewelry, but I didn't manage to find anything I couldn't live without.

After wandering around downtown, we headed to the Mission District to check out some boutiques, of course none of which I remember the name of! I did find some cute rings for only $6 at a store that sold designer samples. (see them here). This is definitely a neighborhood that one of these trips I will spend an afternoon thrifting in...I'm determined! This trip just wasn't the trip for it unfortunately. There's a Buffalo Exchange in that neighborhood, which is where the blouse from this post (and plenty others!) came from last year, so when I have a shopping budget on the next trip that store will definitely be visited as well. After shopping all afternoon we headed to my cousins' oldest sons' soccer game. After the game we all headed to dinner back in Noe Valley, with Kyle and I grabbing a beer at a local bar together before calling it a night.

A little side story about those gray shoes - I wanted a pair of gray Converse because you know, I wanted to be all Scarlet and Gray for the game. My budget couldn't justify them, but these mens sneakers from Walmart for $12 are proving themselves to be a great second best. They were worth it just because I lived in them on our trip, but I'm sure they'll get plenty of use now that we're back home too!

That's it for days 1 and 2 - come back soon (probably Thursday or Friday) to hear about days 3 and 4!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Polka Dots

tee: Target, skirt: Walmart, belt: thrifted, shoes: Payless

We're back from San Francisco, which unfortunately also means back to work! I can't wait to tell you about the trip and catch up on everyone's comments and blogs, but first wanted to post this outfit so I could link up with Andi for her Polk Dot Week link up. I wore this outfit to work last Tuesday, then we came home and headed right for the airport. I had time to take a few pictures, but not enough time to post about them to prepare for the link up like I wanted to. Head on over to Andi's blog to check out some other looks and to see how she wore her polka dots all last week!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Finds Under 50 Fail

shirt - thrifted: $3.99
jeans - Old Navy: $10
shoes - Target: $12.99
necklace - Walmart: $11.88
watch - Kohl's: $12
bracelet - flea market: $3

I wore this outfit last Friday in an attempt to catch another Finds Under 50 outfit to post about while we're out of town. I'm always running late, so I just started piling on my accessories then headed out the door for work. When I took pictures later and started adding up costs, I realized that my total outfit added up to $53.86. Personally I still think that's pretty thrifty, but it did miss the mark. Initially I thought about scrapping the post, but then thought it would be only be fair to fess up to the unsuccessful try. It didn't hurt that I didn't find the time to try again either, but yeah, we'll go with the honesty thing. :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


shirt & shoes: Old Navy, pants: Target, tank: Forever 21, scarf: World Market

This is the first day of our little vacation, so thankfully I spent it hanging out in a much more casual outfit than this one from last week. There’s always been something about a light pink and gray combination that feels so feminine to me. A few years ago I think my wardrobe had a much heavier focus on softer colors and textures, but over time I think I’ve expressed my femininity in much bolder ways such as statement heels or a brighter lip color. I suppose that type of change is part of the fun, right? 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

SF Bound

sf vacation

Today my husband and I are on our way to San Francisco! We're making the trip to go to the Ohio State/Cal game with family, but headed out to the bay area early to spend a few extra days enjoying San Francisco and family time. Besides the game we've got plans to catch a Giants game, some downtown shopping, going to my cousins' soccer game, and hopefully checking out some America's Cup events. I can't wait! I've scheduled some posts, but check out Instagram for a peek at the fun we get ourselves into. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Personality - ISFJ

shirt: Buffalo Exchange, sweater: Old Navy, pants: New York & Co., shoes: Kohls

Today’s topic for Blogtember over at Story of My Life caught my attention because I always think it’s interesting to take a personality test.  I took this personality test and I'm an ISFJ – Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging. I remembered that I took it a little over 3 years ago in grad school, so out of curiosity I dug through my old binders to find my results. Turns out I haven’t changed a bit, which doesn't surprise me at all! I decided to select some statements from my results, and then provide my two cents about them and how they apply to me. 

ISFJs are characterized above all by their desire to serve others, their "need to be needed."
I'd say this is accurate and applies to both my personal and professional life! I'm sure it's why I was drawn to a helping focused career, and feeling wanted/needed is probably the number one reason I've always been secure in my relationship with my husband.
They are notoriously bad at delegating ("If you want it done right, do it yourself").
I am the worst at this! I’d much rather take on the responsibility of a task rather than risk that someone else completes it not quite to the standard I would do it. Awful, I know.
In the workplace, ISFJs are methodical and accurate workers, often with very good memories and unexpected analytic abilities.
So true, at least for being methodical, accurate, and having a good memory – I triple check everything, especially in my job as an Academic Advisor. Would you want to miss something and have to go back and tell a student that they were actually not able to graduate yet like they had planned? That’s my worst nightmare…I would be devastated! I also can remember a face or a name for what I think is a ridiculously long time. I had dinner with co-workers from my job I worked back from 2006-2009 and was able to remind them of the names of specific clients we had worked with! Unfortunately I’m guessing that most of them have long forgotten me.   
ISFJs make pleasant and reliable co-workers and exemplary employees, but tend to be harried and uncomfortable in supervisory roles.
I just don't have professional goals right now that include a position in management and that probably explains why. Also, the whole being bad at delegating thing doesn't exactly spell out great management material in my opinion.
While their work ethic is high on the ISFJ priority list, their families are the centers of their lives.
I love my job, but so much more important to me is my life that happens outside of it! 
ISFJs have a few, close friends. They are extremely loyal to these, and are ready to provide emotional and practical support at a moment's notice. (However, like most Fs they hate confrontation; if you get into a fight, don't expect them to jump in after you. You can count on them, however, run and get the nearest authority figure.)
When you take a look at my closest friends, they're the girls I've been friends with since we were little. One has been my best friend since before preschool even! So yes, with that comes extreme loyalty, unless you make me deal with a bunch of confrontation because that's just not cool. 
Head over to Story of My Life to check out more posts! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Finds Under 50 - Summer Wedding

under 50 9.6
dress - Kohl's: $12.75
belt - Target: $12.99
shoes - thrifted: $3.99
purse and necklace: gift

I love weddings, I truly do. Friends of ours got married this past weekend and although we didn't make it to the wedding because we chose to instead spend some time tailgating on campus with family here in Columbus from out of town, we definitely didn't miss out on their reception at a local winery. It was such a fun time, but I really started to feel a little old when music from Montel Jordan, Mariah Carey, and decade old Usher and Lil Jon songs were the highlight of my night until we had danced so much that my back hurt. Seriously, when did that happen? It's like I'm 29 going on 60. The reception was the perfect reason to wear this dress again (last seen here), and when I realized the total cost of this look, I decided to go ahead and make it this weeks' Finds Under 50 look. I opted for flats instead of heels because as I described above, I'm old and just couldn't imagine a bunch of dancing in heels, and the belt was added to give the dress some shape. Because it's still summer and the temperatures reminded us that we were indeed attending a summer event, I chose the teal necklace and coral purse to make my all black look a little more season appropriate. 

*Please share your thoughts - is it cheating to include a few gifts in the look for Finds Under 50 since they add to it without adding cost? I felt good about this time because I could've easily completed the look with items I purchased and stayed under $50, but I'd love to hear your feedback!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Jewel Tones

tee & shoes: Old Navy, blazer: Ambiance (SF), necklace: Charming Charlie, pants: NY & Co.

Originally I had a long white cardigan paired with this look, but decided I just didn't like it. Something about the slouchiness (did I just make up a word?) of the cardigan made me feel like it's much better for casual weekend looks, rather than work. Instead I went for my blue blazer and I have to say, I like the look of these jewel tones together. Are there any specific color combinations you've tried and unexpectedly liked?!

Linking up with Rolled Up Pretty, Because Shanna Said So, and The Pleated Poppy...  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

One Piece Many Ways

3 ways

Outfit 1:
tee: Marshall's
necklace: Walmart
lace pants: Kohl's
shoes: Payless

Outfit 2:
tee: Marshall's
blazer: Sam's Club
necklace: Walmart
jeans: Gap
shoes: Kmart

Outfit 3:
tee: Marshall's
scarf: World Market
leggings: Giant Eagle
shoes: Kmart

For Audrey's One Piece Many Ways link up I decided to style my new tee that has quickly become a favorite because it's just baggy enough and the faux leather sleeves add a bit of edge. I went for a work look, a night out look, and a comfortable/super casual look. The first outfit is one that I've actually worn before and just never got around to photographing. It almost felt too dressy for work in a way, but I liked it anyway. The other two outfits haven't been worn, but I styled them with particular events in mind, so it's likely they'll be worn soon. The second outfit seems perfect for a girls night out, and it just so happens my sister-in-law is having her bachelorette party in a few weeks and that look may just be a winner for that night. I put the third outfit together as a potential travel outfit because leggings are just as comfortable as sweatpants, but much cuter. With a trip to San Francisco coming up next week, this look could be perfect for our flight. The tee is longer in the back which I didn't do a good job of capturing in the photo, but I think that makes it a good top to consider pairing with leggings. How else would you style this tee?

Monday, September 2, 2013

August Budget

august1 august2

Green blouse - $16 from Target: 

Sandals - $7.50 from Target (link with picture available here

Pink tee - $3 from Charming Charlie

Red blouse - $5 from Charming Charlie

Necklaces - $6.50 total from Charming Charlie

Leggings - $14.99 x 2 from Giant Eagle (seen here)

Total = $67.98

There wasn't anything particular I wanted to buy in August, and I think I did a pretty good job keeping myself in check.  During a weekend spent back home with my in-laws, the girls snuck away for a shopping trip while the guys played in a golf outing. The main reason for the trip was to check out Charming Charlie to find accessories for the wedding of one of my sister-in-laws.  My other sister-in-law and I get to be bridesmaids, so we wanted to find jewelry that would go well with our dresses. Charming Charlie had an additional 50% off all clearance and I couldn't help but take advantage of some really great deals in addition to our accessories for the wedding (the wedding accessories were bought for us as presents, so not in the budget). 

The Target trip was a weak moment for me - I needed to buy more of my favorite facial towelettes, the Yes to Tomatoes line of products, and my grocery store doesn't carry them. I'm guessing I could find somewhere other than Target to buy them, but I'll admit that I never turn down an excuse to go. At least I found some deals, and the blouse and sandals will get plenty of use I'm sure.

The leggings from Giant Eagle were such a random find. I've found good great finds in some unexpected places before - a perfect example being my black blazer and maxi dress from Sam's Club - but I was just wandering around the cosmetics while waiting on a prescription and came across them. I liked that they're thicker than the pair I have from Target, and they've got some Spanx-like make up to them to help smooth things out. The medium was within my size range, but after taking them home and trying them on, they felt tighter than what I was comfortable with. That's probably the point, but I still went back and bought the large instead and those feel much better. I still have both pairs, and need to try the size medium pair on again to help me decide if I should keep both to have options, or to return them. 

With a trip to San Francisco coming up soon and 3 more weddings before the end of the year (one of which is is Jamaica and still needs to be paid for), I need to be really careful about spending money on anything, so we'll see how I do! How did your budget hold up this month? Linking up with Fran...