Category Archives: 30for30

30 for 30: Heat Wave

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{“can you see the lint all over my dress?!“}

Good lawd, it’s a scorcher. I know I don’t have to tell you; half of the country is in the same sweaty boat. And has anyone noticed that the heat seems to be making everyone extra cranky? I’ve had more uncomfortable confrontations in the last two days than I’ve had in the last two years, and I’ve officially reached my limit of nastiness. Unfortunately it’s way too hot to hug it out, so maybe I’ll bake a batch of cupcakes and bring them with me everywhere to disarm volatile situations with overheated crabby people.

30 for 30: The Beginning of the End

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MNG by Mango tank (c/o jcpenney) | INC cropped denim jacket | vintage skirt | Madden Girl sandals

 

We’re nearing the end of this little 3o for 30 adventure. I have just a few days left “in real life,” even though I didn’t get to post all of my outfits. Some were less exciting than others {like the Saturday I wore this top with these shorts and my denim flats} but every outfit counts, right? I think we all know the moral of the story by now.

I’ll post 30 for 30 looks for the rest of this week, and then it’s time to close the chapter on this remix. It’s been a good ride!

30 for 30: The Difference a Statement Can Make

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LC Lauren Conrad pintuck blouse | a.n.a. safari vest (c/o jcpenney, on sale now for $19.99!) | Tommy Hilfiger black skinnies | Dollhouse cage sandals (Ross) | thrifted clutch | leased Kenneth Jay Lane Garden Party necklace and ring set (c/o I’m Over It)

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Let’s be real: This Kenneth Jay Lane enamel statement necklace is the star of this outfit.

I wore this to a young professionals cocktail mixer last night, followed by sushi with a few old friends and a couple of new ones. I can’t count the number of “oh, that necklace is amazing,” and “where did you get it?!” compliments I received in just a few hours. I pointed them all in the direction of my friend, Sarah.

Remember Anne of Wobisobi? She’s one of my real-life BFFs, and Sarah is her equally talented and stylish sister. A few years ago, Sarah started a business called I’m Over It — an online jewelry leasing company that leases designer jewelry from high-end brands like Kenneth Jay Lane, Gerard Yosca, Carolee LUX  & ABS by Allen Schwartz for 10% of the retail price. And people are buzzing, especially brides that want special jewels for their big day, but don’t have the cash to drop on luxurious pieces they’ll likely only wear once. {Talk about big style on a budget!}

Head on over to I’m Over It, and browse through the beautiful selection. Tell Sarah I sent you ;-)

30 for 30: Less is More

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I have to admit, I was a little nervous about taking on this round of Kendi’s 30 for 30 after bombing the last one. But I told myself in the beginning that I’d turn off the pressure and just roll with this one, kind of like I did with my very first 30 for 30 way back when. So far, it’s worked… and I’m happy to report that I am loving this remix.

You see, before I started this blog, I never really had a defined style. Not to say I didn’t dress well, because I did. I had a closet that overflowed with clothes and shoes I bought on sale, a mismatched cluster of  impulse purchases and retail therapy binges. I shopped once a week — okay, let’s be honest, twice a week — and patted myself on the back for all the great deals I scored. I always wanted new, wouldn’t be caught dead wearing the same outfit twice, and had a closet full of items I’d worn once then written off as “old and boring.” There was no rhyme or reason to the way I dressed, I just wanted to be The Girl That Always Looks Cute.

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{isn’t she cute?}

However, The Girl That Always Looks Cute has a dark and secret alter-ego: The Girl Who Will Never Have Enough. Unbeknownst to me, I was building a bevy of bad habits that revolved around shopping. If I had a rough day or was feeling insecure, I went to Macy’s and bought three pairs of shoes to make myself feel better. Because really, what girl can feel bad about herself when she’s wearing a killer pair of brand-spanking-new patent leather peep-toes, hmm? If I had a meeting or event to go to, I needed to make a good impression with a new outfit. Nothing to do on a Saturday? Shop it up!

I started secretively shopping and hiding how much I was buying and spending from my husband. {I know I’m not the only one who kept things in the trunk and brought them inside when her husband wasn’t home… “What, this old thing?!“} I got myself in some deep trouble with debt and had serious anxiety about my finances and my seemingly out-of-control retail binging. On the inside, I was a hot mess; but man, I looked CUTE!

I don’t know exactly when or why I realized I needed a change, but something flipped the switch and woke me up to the damage I was causing through my insatiable need for excess. I started to crave simplicity in my life and my closet. I just didn’t know how to do it. It wasn’t until I discovered this world of style bloggers that I started to appreciate true style. Not the commoditized “what’s new” fashion of the masses, but individual style that’s built around personal aesthetic and a carefully edited wardrobe.

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That’s what the 30 for 30 is all about for me. Understanding just how little it takes to create outfits that you feel good in every day, and discovering your own definition of basics and favorites. I’m 18 days in to this remix, and there are 3 pieces I’ve yet to wear and 8 that I’ve only worn once. Before I started, I jotted down 21 potential outfit combinations, and I’ve used three of them. I’m confident that if push came to shove (or some crazy happenstance caused the rest of my clothes to disappear) I could make these 30 pieces work for the rest of the summer. Several of my [real-life] friends have told me they want to try a 30 for 30 for themselves, and I tell them they have to. I’m expecting detailed reports and outfit logs, ya’ll. 

In the last six months, I’ve paid off more than half of my personal debt and closed three retail revolving credit accounts. What’s left of my credit card debt is in the three-digits, and I’ve learned about this strange phenomenon they call saving. I’ve found other outlets besides shopping to channel my stress and boredom and reduced my monthly spending {and stress!} significantly. When I do shop, I shop with purpose — more on that later.

I hope the rest of you remixers are gaining some valuable perspective from this challenge. If you haven’t tried a 30 for 30, I encourage you to give it a shot. It just may change the way you think about your style and your closet!

30 for 30: Puddle Jumper

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MNG by Mango tank and shorts (c/o jcpenney) | INC cropped denim jacket (Macy’s) | Antonio Milani yellow leather espadrilles (Dillard’s)IMG_1657

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It’s been a rainy day in these parts! Usually I’d complain about wet roads and ruined hair, but the afternoon showers are a nice reprieve from the heat.

I asked C if I should jump in a puddle for cute dramatic outfit showcasing, but we both decided that seeing as how I have the grace of a drunk elephant and I have to work in these clothes for the rest of the day, it’s probably best that I just keep both feet firmly planted on the ground. We’ll save the splish-splashing for another day.

17 down, 13 to go! 

30 for 30: In Neutral Territory

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LC Lauren Conrad top (Gift from Little Tin Soldier) | Madison jacket (Belk clearance) | Tommy Hilfiger denim crops (Macy’s sale) | Madden Girl sandals (Ross) | Thrifted belt

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I know it’s summer, and I’m supposed to be swathed in neons and nautical stripes and florals… but my closet seems to be lacking in the bright and bold department… Especially in my 30.

It’s not because I don’t love the way girls are working these trends into their style — I mean, it would be amazing to play in Taylor’s closet or spend a day shopping with Krystal. I just don’t have easy-access to these trends in an affordable, wearable way. I don’t shop at Forever 21, I think Zara is over-priced, and I’ve never stepped foot in an H&M {I know!}. In my small town, these mammoth discount retailers are more than an hour away, and finding a free afternoon to spend perusing the mall is a luxury I don’t seem to have these days…

But living in a less-than-metropolitan area doesn’t mean you can’t build a great wardrobe; you just have to get a little creative. We have several decent department stores and some awesome boutiques around here, but you’re going to spend $50 on the striped boatneck tee that you’d pick up at H&M for $8. I’ve said it here before that I’m not one to drop a lot of cash on items that won’t stay around for longer than a season, so instead I’ve stocked my closet over the years with a lot of neutral, classic pieces that play well together.

So, where do I usually shop? I frequent Macys, jcpenney, Dillards and Kohls, and head straight to the clearance sections when I’m looking for pieces to try out seasonal trends. LC Lauren Conrad, Simply Verai heart ronson, and MNG by Mango are all great brands that bring designer duds to the masses, and when these department stores put items on clearance, they basically give them away {in my last Kohl’s trip, I picked up LC tops for $3 and Simply Vera dresses for less than $10!}. When I’m looking for shoes and handbags, it’s gotta be Marshall’s and Ross. I also love my friend Meghan’s boutique, m.marie, and she’s my go-to for denim, TOMS, and those unique pieces that kick everyday basics up a notch.

Who else lives in a retail-challenged town? Do you love it or hate it? And how do you work around your shopping restrictions?

30 for 30: Halfway There!

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striped tank dress (Ross, $10) | chambray button-up (Beall’s Outlet) | thrifted belt | Antonio Melani leather espadrilles

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Mom’s Maltese, Henry, the photo bomb.

When I was getting dressed this morning {after some weekend laundry catch-up} I noticed that there are a few pieces from my 30 that I haven’t worn yet in this remix. This striped tank dress was one of them. So I threw it on, and realized about halfway through the morning that short dresses paired with wedges are neither practical nor comfortable for work. You can’t even imagine the awkward bending, sitting, and dress tugging that went down all day. I’ll have to wear shorts or pants tomorrow to catch up on all the work I avoided today.

I think I’ll move this dress to the “play clothes” section of the closet…

my 30 for 30 continues. and the dangers of Google.

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Last night, my dog discovered the peace lily plant we keep in the living room. After peacefully {no pun intended} coexisting with it for several months, he decided — in the middle of the night while we were sleeping — that it would make a better target for destruction than decorative element. We woke up this morning to a few shredded leaves tossed around the living room floor. I played hooky stayed home from work today, and he continued to assault the poor plant throughout the afternoon every time I left the room.

At about 6:00pm, I got the bright idea to do a quick search online to see if peace lilies are toxic to our four-legged friends. Bad idea. Ten minutes and dozens of pet forums later, I’d convinced myself that Doak would soon go into anaphylactic shock, closely followed by coma and death.  I called husband, who was out to dinner with his dad, and roped him right into my panic.

I called our local emergency vet, and after waiting on hold for what seemed an eternity {all during which I nearly hyperventilated in anxious anticipation of the devastating news I just knew was coming} they basically told me that he should be fine, just a little itchy around the mouth and maybe nauseous. I should mention that all during this hypochondriacal mania, Doak had zero symptoms of poisoning or distress, but I didn’t pay much attention since I was completely consumed with his impending doom. 

The moral of the story is this: using Google to diagnose your pet is just as terrifying and counterproductive as doing an innocent symptom search on WebMD for a tension headache and ending up with cancer. Take it from me, don’t do it.

30 for 30: Easy Does It

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Izod floral button-up | ReStyled denim shorts | Seychelles Gypsy sandals (I got mine at Marshall’s, but you can find them here!)

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My go-to, don’t-have-the-time-or-energy-to-put-anything-together look is a crisp button-up (special details like a cute print are a plus) and a dark jean with wedges or classic flats. It’s my lazy secret for looking put together when you really want to just throw on sweats and call it a day.

My voluminous porn star hair is courtesy of Shu Uemura and the uhhh-mazing deluxe hair care kit I won in a giveaway from The Glamourai. They sent an illuminating shampoo and conditioning mask, a styling sap with incredible hold and flexibility, and their new Essence Absolue protective oil. I tried everything for the first time yesterday, and styled my hair as usual. This is second-day, woke-up-and-tousled-with-dry shampoo-and-my-fingers hair. I’m in love.

The kit contained over $200 worth of product, and while I know that’s a huge chunk of change for haircare, I have to say that as soon as this stuff runs out, I’m totally restocking. {Cover your ears, husband}. If you can’t afford to indulge in all four products, I recommend at least splurging on the Essence Absolue. A little goes a long way — I have super thick tresses, and I only need a pump or two to cover my hair from roots to ends — and you can buy it in a travel size for $24. It’s a little bottle of hair magic, ladies. It protects your hair from heat styling and UV damage, leaves it super soft and shiny, and smells delicious.

No Bud Light trucks or delivery drivers were harmed in the making of this outfit post. Tempted as I was to strut over and bat my lashes at the driver to try and score a free cold one, I resisted. Partly because my husband is the one behind the camera. Although, I’m pretty sure he’d let me get away with a little harmless flirting as long as he got a beer out if it, too…

30 for 30: “Scarves are Happenin’!”

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MNG by Mango striped tank (c/o jcpenney) | Tommy Hilfiger striped scarf and denim crops | Madden Girl sandals (I got mine at Ross, but you can find them here!)

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That’s what one of my suppliers told me this afternoon when he dropped off an order of fresh flowers. As soon as I opened the back door, his first words were, “hey, scarves are happenin’!” Hm. It took me a second to catch his drift, until he proceeded to tell me about his shopping trip over the weekend with his wife and gave me a little rundown on what’s “trendy these days.” Apparently, I am right on the mark. #WINNING

12 down, 18 to go!

30 for 30: 10 for 10

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Madison striped top (Belk clearance) | ReStyled denim shorts | Nine West woven belt | Antonio Melani yellow leather espadrilles (Dillards) | Betsy Johnson watch and assorted bracelets | ring from m.marie

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It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Thursday Awkward and Awesome post a la’ The Daybook! Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Awkward: 

– A recent Words with Friends game on the ol’ iPhone. I had the first move, and played the word murder. And then my opponent quit.

– The old guy behind me in line at the grocery store who told me I had “mischievous eyes” after commenting on each of the things I unloaded from my cart. You got me, sir. Nothing says “wild child” like a gallon of skim milk, piles of produce, a couple frozen pizzas, and Ben & Jerry’s. Rawrrr… 

– Forgetting that I had to change our window displays when I got dressed in the morning, then trying to shuffle around in a dress and oh-so-carefully move things around so as not to flash all of downtown main street.

– And forgetting to announce a winner for the jcpenney giveaway! Tomorrow, I promise.

– Realizing just how forgetful I am lately.

Awesome: 

The Coffee House channel on Sirius XM.

– Not being the palest girl in Florida now that I’ve discovered the awesomeness that is Jergens Natural Glow. I loathe self-tanner — the smell, the zebra stripes, the oompa-loompa-meets-Snookie skin — but this stuff is a wonder lotion! The smell isn’t fantastic, but it gives you a really natural color gradually and doesn’t streak or leave your knees and elbows five shades darker than the rest of your body. Good stuff.

– GROUPON! We just ran one for the shop this week, and now I’m hooked. If you’re a small business that offers a product or service, I recommend it for bringing in a slew of new customers and getting your name out. Plus, their customer service staff is pretty stellar.

Honey Badgers. And Terra for always leading me to these little web gems on Twitter.

 

30 for 30: Engine, Engine # 9

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In honor of my 9th outfit in the 30 for 30, here are 9 lovely links from my reader today:

1. Cupcakes and Cashmere’s braided bun tutorial looks like the perfect summer hairstyle — and pretty do-able!

2. I can’t think of a mani more fitting for a florist than this one featured on The Beauty Department.

3. How adorable is this DIY sunhat from PS I Made This? I’ll be on the hunt for a secondhand hat to rework like this.

4. Jennine has me convinced that I need a tube of Benefit’s They’re Real mascara. Right now.

5. Jessica’s I Smile Wednesday posts always make me, well, smile!

6. Deep-dish chocolate chip cookies? I mean…

7. This is technically from yesterday, but Sydney did such a great job making a t-shirt necklace with my old tutorial I just had to share!

8. Kelsey is killing her 30 for 30. If you need some cute remix inspiration, she’s your girl.

9. Today I rediscovered my love of Sydney’s Photoshop tutorial! I used it on today’s photos.

Wearing: i heart ronson dress (c/o jcpenney) | lace-back tank (Beall’s Outlet) | BCBG denim flats (I got mine at Marshall’s, but you can find a similar pair here!) | Stella & Dot starfish earrings | Revlon Top Speed polish in Jaded

30 for 30: Crazy Eights

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You know those outfits that seem really great in theory, but when you see them in photographs you’re all, meh. This is one such ensemble; it turned out a little frumpier than I thought it would. Which, looking back, I’m not sure why I thought baggy linen shorts and a roomy flowy top would look polished…

Some of you may look at this outfit and think it’s perfectly acceptable. I am, after all, my harshest critic. But some of you may agree that this isn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever put together, and that’s totally okay!

Kendi said it best once when she said that remixing isn’t about creating 30 super-stunner outfits. It’s about creating 30 unique outfits and learning what works and what doesn’t along the way. I could’ve just skipped posting this one, and taken outfit shots after I’d gone home and changed into something I liked better; but somehow that feels kinda dirty and dishonest. {To me! Not to say that this isn’t an acceptable way for other bloggers to run their own space}. I ran into someone on Saturday who said, “Oh hey, your outfit looks familiar — this is what you wore on the blog today. So you really do wear the outfits you post every day!” Yep. Yep, I do.

That’s the beautiful thing about personal style blogs, isn’t it? There are no wardrobe stylists or makeup teams to make sure that every outfit and photo is flawless. It’s just this amazing melting pot of real women wearing their real clothes — purchased on real budgets — and sharing a little glimpse of their style with the world through un-edited lenses. Kind of awesome, huh?

30 for 30: Stripes on Stripes

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MNG by Mango striped tank (c/o jcpenney) | i heart ronson striped cardi (c/o jcpenney) | Tommy Hilfiger black skinnies (Macy’s clearance) | Madden Girl lace-up sandals (I got mine at Ross, but you can find them here!)

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It’s only the beginning of week two, and I’m already starting to panic a little. Maybe because it’s about a bah-jillion degrees outside, and all I can think about wearing are shorts and tank tops. Fortunately I have several of each in my lineup, but you don’t get much style blogger street cred for rocking that same basic combo over and over. This will, however, be the last time you’ll see jeans and any jacket/sweater action for a while. The forecast has us in triple digits tomorrow. Bleh! I’m perspiring just thinking about it…

Seven down, twenty-three to go.