Someone rode by on their bike and turned around to gawk. This was the look I gave them:
Dress: Gap Shoes: JCP Belt: F21
Sorry if I’m a little flaky lately, it’s that time of year again. Working at and attending a university means that the end of the semester is equally busy on both accounts. I think I finally found my groove in year two of grad school, working and blogging. I’ve decided that I am a very organized procrastinator. That’s right. I’m a great planner and love making lists and having every detail perfectly laid out, but the actual execution of it is not going to happen until the last possible minute. My mind is a blank slate until the pressure kicks it into gear. While I would say I’ve improved on the small things (like completing weekly homework assignments during the beginning of the week), the bigger and more important the project is, the more I’m going to procrastinate. I tell Phen procrastinating saves me from boredom, which ultimately saves money. If I don’t have anything I need to be doing and we’re just sitting at home, I’m ready to climb the walls. However, if there’s a paper looming over my head, all of a sudden I find great joy and excitement out of vacuuming the rug or even staring blankly at a wall. For hours. It’s amazing how that works.
Dress: H&M Shoes: Newport News (now Spiegal)
Good to know I have a costume ready for Halloween, because according to Phen, I just need a little black dog (which I do have and am kicking myself for not incorporating) and I’d be set.
The styling made this a little Dorothy-esque, but I love this dress. Not to be ironic, but it is one of the few dresses that made it into my tornado bag. That’s right, it’s tornado season in Oklahoma and I always pack a bag with irreplaceable keepsakes (most of them being from my grandparents), and drag it down into the shelter. There are a few clothing items that make their way into the bag, but I will tell you, when you stop to evaluate your closet and determine what you would be devastated to lose, it’s kind of eye-opening. And depressing. I mean, clothes should never have that much importance, but I was just completely ok with the idea of 99% of my wardrobe being strewn about the state, never to be returned again. I think that’s a good shopping check to have in your head–ask yourself if it’s something you would want to save in a natural disaster ;)
In January when I turned 30 and Phen was asking what I would like to do, Fort Worth Zoo was the first thing to spring to my mind (doesn’t every 30 year old want to go to the zoo for their birthday?) Ever since I saw this clip last year of baby Belle trying to get into her little swimming pool (cuteness overload alert), I wanted to see her in person. And when just a month later another baby elephant was born at the same zoo, I was even more determined to go. Fort Worth is about three hours away and we couldn’t go last year because of my mother-in-law’s health, so we had to wait until this year. I told Phen as soon as the weather got nice enough, I wanted to go. We went over Spring break and even though it was a little rainy and dreary, this trip seriously made my dreams come true.
Is there anything cuter than a baby elephant? I didn’t think so.
Some of my other favorite animals
This rhino may have partied a little too hard…
I kept saying, “I didn’t think sting rays were this hard!” Um, turns out they’re crabs so…
Phen and I dubbed this the best funnel cake we ever had
You can’t really see them, but I’m posing by the cheetahs in hopes of impressing them with my skirt.
Since this is “technically” a fashion blog, let’s discuss my outfit. First of all, obviously I had to wear animal print. I couldn’t bring myself to go the jeans and t-shirt route, but I still wanted to be comfortable and practical for a lot of walking.
I had to put vanity aside and go for flats. I chose what I thought were comfortable shoes. Turns out they had never stood the test of this much walking before:
I carried on though and we managed to visit every exhibit. My favorite of course, were the elephants :)
Dress: Gap ($10!) Shoes: Wal Mart Clutch: CR
You guys, this dress is my favorite. It feels very 60s mod and I love everything about it. And the best part is that it was ten dollars. I wore this for what we considered to be my “official” 30th birthday dinner (my birthday was actually back in January, but we waited until the weather got a little nicer before taking this trip). We had no idea where we wanted to eat and there are simply too many places to choose from. Since my favorite food is Italian, we thought we’d take a chance and look for a good Italian restaurant. When you hear “Texas” probably the last place you think of to eat is Italian, but Bugatti Ristorante was absolute perfection. The owner, staff, ambiance, and food were all divine. We read lots of positive reviews about Bugatti’s before we took a chance calling in a last minute reservation on a Saturday night. The owner, Zee, answered the phone and told us he would gladly make room for us. He called us both by our first names and checked on us throughout the evening. He even pulled out both of our chairs and dropped the napkin into our laps. Fancy, schmancy.
Our waiter kept trying to guess the design of my clutch. At first he was convinced it was Chanel, but I just kept smiling and shaking my head. I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was a Charlotte Russe $20 special–and it was the most expensive part of my outfit!
The chocolate mousse paired with their cappuccino for dessert was HEAVEN.
We ate until we were completely miserable, which is unusual for me. I’m a stickler about eating only until I’m satisfied, which often means dividing my portions into thirds, but we totally engorged ourselves. And, the pain and discomfort afterwards was worth every bite. If you are ever in the Dallas area, Bugatti’s is a must.
Here are the clothing and accessories I managed to accumulate in March:
Apparently I couldn’t resist a Target $5 tee sale…
I was ecstatic to find Kate Spade Saturday at TJ Maxx, which is Kate Spade’s lower priced line. I found the wallet, which was on my wishlist, and then I couldn’t resist the matching scarf. Oops.
It has lots of compartments (the “don’t forget to be awesome” tabs signify each section) and a zippered compartment for change, which is exactly what I was looking for in a wallet. I was planning to save for a “real” Kate Spade wallet, but this one is perfect and I’m thrilled with the lower price point.
There are three items I included in the list that I pulled from my Christmas/Birthday money stash, which I’ll break down in just a second. Those three items were from my super belated birthday trip to Dallas a couple of weeks ago. I’m pretty proud that I went to a city with the highest number of shopping centers per capita in the United States and only walked away with these three items:
I’ll go into more detail about those items and our trip in my next post.
Based on a budget of $250/ month, here’s the breakdown:
Media Downloads $4
Gift Money $107
Total: $353 - 107 = $247
Excluding the gift money, I came under budget, yay!
There weren’t really any surprises this month. Though our trip to Dallas was rather spur of the moment, I had been saving my gift money knowing it was coming. I am pleased that I still stuck to my guns this month by only pre-loading my Starbucks card once, and I hope to continue with that plan.
Linking up with Fran
I’ve mentioned before that you won’t know how something will look on you until you try it on. While that seems like common sense, how many of us are guilty of judging an item by its hanger? Try. It. On. Nine times out of ten you are probably right and it won’t work, but that one chance to surprise yourself is worth the effort. While the actual undressing and dressing part of trying on clothes is not a good time, getting to experiment with your style is. Here are a few of my dressing room escapades over the last two months:
I love the look of a “tasteful crop” if such a thing exists. Just a sliver of skin to break up the monotony in an otherwise solid look, no crazy belly-baring or anything like that. I had to roll the waistband of the skirt down to shorten it, but the proportions are all wrong for my frame anyway and ultimately, where the heck would I wear something like this? But, it was fun to try on anyway.
I was loving the feminine, springy tops at Kohl’s, but their prices outweighed the temptation, so I passed.
I had to try this dress on when I was in Dallas last week (more about that trip in a future post) just for fun. I loved the scallop detail and that it was made out of a heavy jersey fabric, but alas the fit wasn’t great (too snug on the bottom, a little gape-y up top…classic pear problems). The fact that I was carrying a Texas-sized food baby the whole time I was there may not have helped…
I knew the silhouette of this dress was a bad idea for my pear frame, but I wondered if the fact that it was patterned would make a difference. Nope. Still bad.
This dress was on clearance for $20, which is an excellent price for a cocktail dress, but the lack of need couldn’t justify the purchase, so I left it.
I’ll be sure to show you what I actually bought this month for my March budget recap post next week ;)
Sweats: TJ Maxx Blazer: Ross Tee: Alloy Shoes: Guess (e-Bay)
You guys, these pants are a no-no for a pear shape. The tapered leg, the elasticized waist and droopy hip area = my worst nightmare. Annnd sometimes comfort overrules common sense. While I wouldn’t dare wear these to work (though I have dared to wear an identical pant in a patterned fabric…I’ll post that someday), I did wear this one Saturday bumming around town with a gal pal (minus the heels, which is probably the only element that could possibly save this look). I felt a little self-conscious walking around, but I really appreciated these pants during lunch as I had room to expand, you know what I’m saying? While I’d like to tell you I learned my lesson and in the future will limit their wear to around the house, I think we all know that would be a lie…
Have you all heard about the 100 Happy Days challenge? I started yesterday and chose Instagram as my platform, since I’m more of a lurker than a poster and thought I’d make an effort to utilize it more. You call follow me along here and join in the fun! Here’s to discovering the little things that make you happy #100happydays