Friday, January 15, 2021

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! Not a ton on the docket for this weekend besides packing. We're renting a storage unit to clear out some space (in case you hadn't heard, babies come with a lot of stuff!) and the boxes are getting picked up on Monday so we have to get it alllllll packed up this weekend. See ya next year, Christmas tree! 

Here are my finds for the week. Bring on all the soft colors and comfy knits. 

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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Where's the first trip you want to take?

Something Jeff and I have been daydreaming about is the first trip we want to take once it's safe to travel again. We were supposed to travel to Greece for our five year wedding anniversary last June (luckily we were about a week out from booking tickets when we went into lockdown, thank goodness!) so for a while I had Greece on the brain, but now I'm kind of shocking myself in what I want. 

I just want to go to a beach. Any beach. A whole week spent lounging with no responsibilities and a lot of sunshine is just calling my name. I'd love to go to Mexico or somewhere in the Caribbean, but it really doesn't matter - I'll take a beach chair anywhere. 

It's kind of crazy to me that I'm not daydreaming about visiting old castles in Europe or eating my way through the Mediterranean or exploring South America, because that's usually what Jeff and I are dreaming up. Usually we take our vacation time to dive into a new culture and visit someplace new. But with the stress of the past year and the non-stop working and parenting, I don't want to worry about planning activities or scheduling tours. I just want to lay on a beach chair with a frozen drink in my hand and forget about the world.

Where is the first place you want to visit once you can? 

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Currently #5


It usually takes Jeff and I a long time to watch a show, mainly because we don't have a lot of time to devote to the binging. We often don't get time together at night outside of dinner because one of us will be working, and when we do have time it's only an hour or two before bed. That's a long winded way of saying, we LOVED Bridgerton and blew through the whole thing in a week. I'm always a fan of period pieces because I get drawn up in the sets and costumes and culture, but I really loved the drama and plot and cheese too. So perfect to binge if you haven't yet! I also am very into the new season of The Bachelor - the resort they're staying at really makes it feel like a fairy tale (as opposed to, you know, all the Spanish tile at the La Quinta where they were for Bachelorette) and I'm loving *most* of the girls so far. Who was your favorite out of the limo? I'm rooting for Kristin, Abigail, and Bri! 


I got the new Ina Garten cookbook for Christmas and have been loving it so far - the short rib beef stew is amazing (and leftovers are on the menu for dinner tonight!!) and I also made her crab risotto for NYE. Everything is a little fancier than I'd normally make, which is fun for low-key quarantine weekends. 


Did you read the first book in the American Royals trilogy? Okay so I'm way behind, but I'm finally reading the second book, Majesty, and if you are not reading this trilogy then you need to get on it. The basic concept of the book is that George Washington decided to be America's first king instead of first president, and follows the teenagers in the royal family in the present-day kingdom of America. There's drama, extreme wealth, and lots of unsupervised teenagers. The series is YA but doesn't feel too young to me - definitely fluffy but fun! 


Allllllllllll of the loungewear from Old Navy. I just got these tie dye leggings, these ribbed leggings, these sherpa shorts, and this tunic sweatshirt in the mail, and I'm basically never taking them off. The legging quality is not super high (read: they are for wearing in your house only) but the fleece shorts are incredible, and the hoodie is great because it covers your butt so you can wear it with said leggings out of the house if you so desire. Like I said on Monday, the whole quarantine thing seems to be just catching up to me now that it's cold out, and I'm in pajamas all day mode. 


I asked for an adult paint by number kit for Christmas after I saw Jill doing them during quarantine, and I may have found my new favorite hobby. Okay so it sounds weird to do paint by numbers, but here's the thing - I like to paint but it sort of stresses me out. Like having to come up with the concept, making it perfect.. it's a lot of work. But paint by numbers is painting without the stress because you don't have to think about what you're doing at all! I'm only like 1/25th of the way through this thing because it's surprisingly time consuming, but I've been loving turning on a podcast or putting on a show and painting for an hour or two. 

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Monday, January 4, 2021

December Budget

I share my clothing budget here every month. My budget per month is $350, which may seem like a lot to some people or a little to others, but for me feels just right. I include all of my clothes, coats, shoes, and accessories in that budget, but not athletic gear, pajamas, or intimates.

What a weird year for clothes shopping, am I right? And obviously, that was the weirdest part of 2020. Definitely nothing weirder happened. 

I was joking with some friends that mentally I just hit the pandemic clothing phase that everyone else reached by the last week of March. I think it's probably because it's been cold so we've been doing a lot less, but I've been living in leggings, matching sets, and sweatshirts lately. Lounge all day. Which my December purchases clearly fall in line with. Two novelty sweatshirts and sequined joggers, what more does a girl need?!

Alice & Wonder Ya Filthy Animal Sweatshirt - originally $46.00, on sale $36.80. Still available in a few sizes and on super sale if you want to get ready for next year! These are unisex sweatshirts so the sizing runs large, I still went with my usual size since I wanted a relaxed fit. This also comes in black.
Alice & Wonder Merry Little Cocktail Sweatshirt - originally $46.00, on sale $36.80. This one is sadly sold out now. If you're looking for fun, Chicago lounge wear though, definitely check out Alice & Wonder as they have the cutest Chicago merch! 
LOFT Sequined Joggers - originally $89.50, on sale $44.75. These sold out basically immediately so I'm sorry I couldn't share a link! Really though, they are the ultimate quarantine *fancy* loungewear lolol. I've been wearing them with my novelty sweatshirt collection, but also dressed them up with a black blouse for NYE. This same material is still available in a dress or plus size midi skirt.

Total Spent: $118.35

A look back at my 2020 Budget

What a rollercoaster of a year! It's funny to see my spending and what I bought in terms of what I thought I needed as I thought quarantine would go on longer, when we expanded our bubble slightly, and when Chicago went back into full stay home mode. Here's a breakdown of my spending by month (each linking to that specific post in case you want to take a look):

January - $159.49
February - $133.40
March - $483.54
April - $210.95
May - $331.57
June - $189.08
July - $215.85
August - $155.10
September - $545.20
October - $20.08
November - $230.15
December - $118.35

Total Spent: $2,792.76
Average Per Month: $232.73

And here we are, officially at my lowest annual average spend per month since I started tracking my clothing budget in 2014! In a pandemic it isn't so much of a surprise, but I'm still proud of myself for continuing to rein myself in while still buying (mostly) *nicer* items than I did back in the day when I'd attack the Forever 21 sale racks during my lunch break. 

It's hard to say what my spending will look like in 2021, because honestly, who knows what the world will look like moving forward. Will we go back to having work events that I'll need to dress up for? Will we travel? Will we get to go to parties and see all of our friends again? Will I ever work in an office again? 

What I do know is that I need some more comfy basics to wear at home so I don't just end up in the same pair of sweatpants day in and day out. I did a little bit of post-Christmas sale shopping, and am excited to get this (slightly) fancier tee and this sweatshirt in the mail soon! 

Post-Christmas winter wear for me always means shifting my color palette from the richer shades of fall and Christmas reds and plaid to something softer and lighter. I'm currently on the hunt for sweaters in shades of blush pink, creamy white, and soft grays - I've currently got my eye on this one and this one.

Want to see more? Check out my budget recaps from 20192018201720162015, and 2014.

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Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas + Our Family Photos

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! We're planning to spend today at home in our matching pajamas, snuggled up around the tree opening presents, watching Christmas movies, and cooking a (hopefully not too) fancy Christmas dinner.

Prior to the 2020 craziness, Jeff and I always talked about spending Christmas mornings at our house once we had kids, so while this year feels *weird* it's also where we always planned to be. At home with our family, combining our extended family's traditions and making new ones of our own. 

I think I mentioned a few times that taking our family photos this year was, well, exciting. Mia was not having it, to the point that our photographer invited us to pop back during another of her sessions to try again. We cajoled, we danced, we tickled, we snuck snacks into her mouth (like, in basically every photo you can see a yogurt bite!) and we even played videos from Frozen and Tangled on our phones, but nothing really worked. We still ended up with a few photos with smiles (or at least what looks like smiles - sometimes Mia's angry screaming face photographs as a smile!) so I'm calling it a win. Here are a few (of the many, many) from our sessions: 

P.S. Our photographer was Victoria C, we used her last year too and she's also shot some of our friends and extended family! We did our first session (the green photos) at Winnemac Park, and our second session in the Lincoln Park Nature Walk. 

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Thursday, December 17, 2020

November Budget

I share my clothing budget here every month. My budget per month is $350, which may seem like a lot to some people or a little to others, but for me feels just right. I include all of my clothes, coats, shoes, and accessories in that budget, but not athletic gear, pajamas, or intimates.

Oh heeeyyyyyy I haven't written a blog post in two weeks!! Holy moly I've heard moms complain before about how crazy the Christmas season is, and now that I have a toddler running around I fully get it. I have one thousand things on my to-do list to complete before next week. But it's all in the name of making Christmas special for Mia, so I'm happy to do it. 

That being said, I'm so sorry for not getting to my November budget earlier, because it's a lot of Christmas clothes, and it's now probably too late for you to get any of them in time. So really, I'm sorry for being such a tease over here. I decided Mia and I were going to match as much as possible this holiday season, and that plus the few pounds more I weigh than I did pre-babies and pre-pandemic, means a few new holiday items. 

My absolute favorite thing though are these velvet pants. They are so comfy but make you look dressed up - basically fancy joggers. I wore them for Thanksgiving and have been putting them on for some fancy WFH, and fully plan on pulling them out again for Christmas. I went with my typical dress size, but I'd suggest going down one size for these as they are a little roomy.

Here's the rest of my purchases for November: 

LOFT Poncho: originally $59.50, on sale + used rewards $20.46. I bought this durning a November heat wave when I thought a short sleeve sweater would be a good idea. We are now past that part of Chicago winter haha, but I really liked this the two times I wore it! 
J.Crew Factory Plaid Ruffle Blouse: originally $64.50, on sale $25.60. I bought this specifically to twin with Mia. I thought it wouldn't be particularly flattering on me, but I was surprised by how cute it is in person! I wore this here
J.Crew Factory Pearl Bow Earrings: originally $22.50, on sale $8.80. These are my favorite earrings forever and ever. I've been wearing them basically every day. They are so, so cute for the holidays, but I think I'll keep wearing them until the *fun* summer earrings come out to play ;) 
J.Crew Factory Plaid Bow Scrunchie (sold out but the J.Crew version is almost identical): originally $16.50, on sale $6.37. I obviously needed this for holiday matching. Worth it. 
LOFT Cowl Neck Tunic Sweater: originally $59.50, on sale + used rewards $20.46. Really, I was just looking for more tops to wear with leggings since I've gotten super into quarantine style lately. This isn't anything special, but it fits the "wear with leggings" bill. 
J.Crew Velvet Wide-Leg Pants: originally $118, on sale $59.00. Like I said above, these are the perfect holiday pant, because they look classy but are super comfy to wear. Definitely not the most flattering thing in the world, but I'm not letting that stop me! 
J.Crew Ribbed Ruffle Neck T-Shirt: originally $49.50, on sale $24.75. I reeeeeeally wanted this and was going crazy waiting for it to go on sale. I had the tank top version of this top in white and black for summer (seen here) and both the tank top and long sleeve versions are perfect for tucking into skirts or higher waisted pants if you, like me, don't like bodysuits. Plus the ruffle detail is so cute! The scoop neck is a little low for me though, I wouldn't wear it for work. Unless I'm not turning on my camera for meetings ;) 
LOFT Bobble Sweater: originally $59.50, on sale + used rewards $20.46. I like the texture on this but it is super see-through and not so warm. It worked great during warmer fall weather, but I wouldn't recommend it for true winter. 
J.Crew Factory Plaid Button-Down: originally $59.50, on sale $24.65. I bought this specifically to twin with Mia too, and then the top for her ended up getting cancelled. Wah wahhhhhhh. This top is a little more "business" than most of my button-downs and it definitely isn't my favorite because of that, but I still have been wearing it because I cannot stop with the plaid. 
J.Crew Factory Plaid Scarf: originally $49.50, on sale $19.60. I kept telling myself not to buy more plaid scarves because I have like five of these plaid scarves from J.Crew Factory from previous years, but then I bought Mia some blackwatch plaid and obviously I needed this scarf to match. Someone please send help. 

Total Spent: $230.15

Moving forward, I'll share a budget post for December but I think for next year I'm going to drop the full "budget" post every month and just share my favorites. My guess is, you're less interested in how much I spent and saved on new things in my closet, and more interested in my current finds and favorites. Let me know if I'm wrong! 

For December I'm basically not shopping for myself besides a couple of novelty Christmas sweatshirts from Alice & Wonder. The pandemic seems to have finally caught up with me ;) 

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Friday, December 4, 2020

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! How was your Thanksgiving?? Such a weird year. We were planning to have Thanksgiving at home by ourselves (I even made an overly ambitious meal plan for the day!) but then Jeff's parents quarantined for a full two weeks for us so we ended up at their house. His family usually has pretty small Thanksgivings so it actually felt strangely normal. I'm not a huge Thanksgiving food fan, but I got some mashed potatoes and gravy so I was a happy camper.

I thought I was supposed to have this Friday off work but it got changed to next Friday instead, so I'm in a very confusing place mentally at the moment haha. We don't have much going on this weekend, but we are planning to wander the city to look at Christmas lights. I'm also hoping to wrap a few Christmas gifts, because our bedroom is the current holding place and it's starting to explode! I'm weirdly excited that Mia is at the age now where she's excited to open presents, so I may have gone a little overboard ;) 

Here are my finds for the week: 

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