Category Archives: accessories

sack dress save

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All the donuts and fast food of Mother’s Day week caught up with me, and come Monday zipping my jeans was a bit of a problem. Big boxy shift dress to the rescue! Oh, 20-year-old metabolism, why have you left me?!

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Wearing: MNG by Mango Single-Pleat Shift Dress (jcpenney clearance, $20); Duro Olowu Tapestry Tote (found in-store for 50% off!); Nine West sandals

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retail therapy {and a budget update}

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Duro Olowu Wood-Handled Tapestry Tote; Target clearance top; Lucky Brand jeans; 

Last October, I decided my shopping habits needed a reboot; so I embarked on a four-month journey to spend just $100 per month on clothes, accessories, and beauty products. It went so well for those four months, I proclaimed, “Hey, Internets! I’m going to keep this biz-ness up for a whole year!” To which my husband cocked an eyebrow and gently asked if I was really up for such a task, and I was all, “where’s your faith, dude?! I got this!

Have I told you before that for a type-A control freak, I can be really impulsive? When I get excited about something, I must do it now! Planning be damned! Leap and the net will appear! It’s going to be awesome! Like the time I decided to become a Stella & Dot independent stylist, and spent an ungodly sum of my husband’s money on samples, just to quit in the red less than a year later. Or, most recently, when I almost accidentally murdered this blog trying to move it to a self-hosted platform one afternoon after deciding that morning to make the switch (a Google search and a credit card does not a tech-savvy blogger make, friends.) This impulsivity gets me in trouble now and then, and sometimes my “mouth writes a check that my @ss can’t cash.”

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By now, you may have deduced that this is a confessional post about the status of that overzealous budget proclamation of yore, as well as a reluctant admission that my husband was {cough} right. It felt weird to take such a stance on the issue on my blog, and then just forget about it and let it fade into oblivion, you know? It felt like I had some ‘splainin’ to do…

This is not to say that I’ve been out making it rain in my favorite outlet stores; but the truth is, in the last couple of months, I haven’t been as meticulous in tracking my spending as I was in the beginning. It started with a girl’s trip last month, for which I needed at least two new bathing suits, and then it was new sandals for warmer weather, and then an overhaul of my spring/summer makeup routine. Then a couple of nights ago, after a brutally exhausting holiday week, I needed a little “me time” to relax and unwind and ain’t no therapy like retail therapy, and I thought I’d earned a teeny spree! Call this ridiculous justification, or epic failure, or just jumping the gun on a goal without really thinking it all the way through — I haven’t figured out what to call it yet myself…

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Despite a derailing, I’m not naming the whole budget experiment a wash; it really did help me push the reset button on my spending, cleared up my prior confusion of needs vs. wants, and made me a smarter shopper. I achieved about 6 months of solid commitment, and for a girl who’s never budgeted in her life, I’m proud of what I accomplished! However, I’m cutting myself a little slack and saying maybe this experiment has run its course for me. 

So what’s worse: being a big quitter, or setting yourself up for failure with a lofty 12-month goal you didn’t think through? Either way, sometimes you have to know when to say uncle.

Uncle.

Thoughts?

P.S. I have a whole new level of respect for the self control of the people who’ve accomplished a year-long shop fast! Like my friend, Cathy, who’s in the midst of one now and sharing her journey on her blog. Go cheer her on, will you?

dirty little secret

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See that cute little scarf trick I did there? It’s hiding my hasn’t-been-washed-in-9-days hair. Are you judging? Hang on, lemme explain…

First, I should probably tell you that I’m totally skeeved out by all of the crazy chemicals found in cosmetics and body care products; things like formaldehyde, lead, and mercury, oh my!! While I’ve always tried to be conscientious about the things I eat, I never paid much attention to what I slathered on my skin. That is, until my mom-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2008. During her treatment, she spent a lot of time researching the possible links between these chemicals and our health, and some of the facts are pretty scary. Since then, I’ve done my best to stock our medicine cabinet and shower caddy with all-natural and organic products, including aluminum-free deodorant, handmade goats milk soaps from a local farm, and olive oil moisturizers, to name a few.

But hair is tricky! I’ve yet to find a line of {affordable} natural haircare products that keep my thick hair shiny and manageable, so I try to compensate by only lathering up every 7-10 days. And it turns out shampooing less has made my hair and scalp so much healthier. I get through the week with dry shampoo; but by day 7, hats and scarves are a girl’s best friend.

Does anyone remember the big “no-poo” craze that went around a few years ago? Girls were forgoing shampoo for up to 8 weeks at a time, and claiming it gave them magical unicorn tresses. My girlfriends and I were fascinated — but too chicken to try it out. What’s the longest you’ve gone without sudsing up?

And natural haircare recommendations welcome!