Friday, January 30, 2015

January Budget

And welcome to another budget post! I can't believe it's already time to do this again, I feel like I just wrote my budget recaps for 2014.

This month I feel like I didn't do so good on the practicality scale. Those jeans (yes, I kept them) were totally necessary, but everything else? I did not need another pair of boots, but got drawn in by the end of year sales. And the blanket scarf is fun, but not really that practical. I also got a tinge excited because Jeff and I finally started really planning our honeymoon instead of just talking about it, which somehow equated to me buying three summer dresses in the dead of winter. So here you have it folks, basically a whole month-long fail. 

You may remember me talking about buying myself a little present with some of my Christmas money - I actually did buy this gorgeous Kate Spade bag, and while I absolutely love it, I think it has to go back. The construction of the bottom isn't really strong enough (they went cutsey and made it the shape of a bow instead of a rectangle) which means when I put anything heavier than my chapstick in it, the sides collapse inwards. I can tell that in a couple of months it's going to look terrible (especially because I was planning on toting my iPad mini around in it). 

Here's the damage for January:

Tart Dress - originally $176, on sale $59.99
Madewell Jeans - $128
Sheinside Scarf - originally $27.78, on sale $16.67
Stella & Dot Bracelet - originally $49.99, on sale $24.99, used Dot Dollars $0
Sheinside Dress - originally $19.67, on sale $14.75
Sole Society Boots - originally $149.95, on sale $74.98
Sheinside Dress - originally $35.58, on sale $14.99

Total Spent: $309.38
Total Saved: $277.59

As far as next month, I'm not really sure what I'm looking for, besides a different bag since the Kate Spade didn't work out. There's not a whole lot that I need, although I have been getting that pesky feeling recently of having a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear. #struggs

How did your budgeting go for January?

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Inbetweener

Dress (Similar) - Old Navy / Cardigan - Gap Factory / Necklace (similar) and Bag (similar) - JCrew Factory (both gifts) / Bracelet - Michael Kors 

When we were down in Austin a couple of weeks ago, I had to go to a rehearsal dinner with a very confusing dress code. They sent us a formal invitation to the dinner, which would suggest it would be dressy like most rehearsal dinners, but then the groom told us not to dress up and that he was just going to wear jeans. I didn't really know what to do, so I went dead middle with a casual knit dress and cardigan that I dressed up with accessories. It ended up being the perfect decision, there were some girls in really formal dresses and heels and others in jeans (and one woman in a cowboy hat and fanny pack), so I ended up feeling super comfortable with my choice. What's great about this combo is that it would also be perfectly appropriate at work or church, and with a different color cardigan could work in the spring too. If spring ever comes that is, lately it won't stop snowing! I usually like the snow, but after last winter I'm not sure I'll ever be cool with snow again.

Linking up with Friday Fab FavoritesStyle SessionsRandom WednesdayStyle Me WeeklyLife and Style and Style Me Wednesday.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

...Discovered a new Burger Bar opened up in our neighborhood, and proceeded to stuff myself silly with pulled pork and andouille sausage.
...Did a day of training for my volunteer work with Destination Imagination.
…Guilt watched a Lifetime movie about William and Kate that was so bad but so good. God I hope William really did terrible karaoke to say he was sorry in college.
...Grabbed drinks at Square One with the boo.
...Went to Oakbrook Center for the first time to return a bunch of things (I keep buying shoes for the wedding and then deciding I hate them) and contemplated why northern Illinois has so many outdoor malls when it's cold for most of the year.
…Saw This Is Where I Leave You and thought it was surprisingly good, even though I usually end up hating whatever character Jason Bateman plays.
...Grabbed an immense amount of sushi at Kai Sushi and then had to roll home.
...Had a little party with some friends for the Royal Rumble. Yep, you read that right. I was mostly in it for the party snacks ;)

I hope you had a good one!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

One Pot Sausage Red Pepper Pasta

If there's anything that get's me in a recipe title, it's the words "One Pot." I mean, seriously, washing dishes isn't that hard, but I loathe it above all other chores, so cutting down on the dishes is a major score for me. 

The thing about one pot recipes though is that they're usually a little weird, because meals usually really shouldn't all be made in one pot. Not this one. In fact, when I asked Jeff if he liked it, he said, "Yeah, I love when you make this." Turns out he was confusing this one pot pasta with this other roasted red pepper pasta recipe that was waaaaaay more time consuming and make my kitchen look like it was attacked by a band of two year olds. A side note: do I make too many roasted red pepper pastas? Nahhhh....

One Pot Sausage Red Pepper Pasta (adapted from Host the Toast)
Serves 4 very hungry people or 6 regular people

You'll Need:
1 lb spicy italian sausage, casings removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB olive oil
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 16oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and pureed in a food processor
12 oz pasta
5 oz spinach
3.5 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, sautee sausage, garlic, and olive oil over medium heat until browned. Add milk, chicken broth, pureed red peppers, and pasta. Stir to combine. Let pot come to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until pasta is just cooked through, about 12 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted. Stir in goat and parmesan cheese until melted. Remove from heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary. Serve and top with copious amounts of shredded parmesan.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Buffalo, Stripes, & Chambray

Tee (similar) and Chambray (similar) - Loft / Jeans - Madewell / Scarf - Old Navy (gifted) / Boots - Sole Society / Watch - Kate Spade

Pattern mixing used to be such a scary thing (I remember being totally freaked to try this combo back in 2013!) but now I don't even realize I'm doing it. A little buffalo plaid with stripes? No problem. I probably should have tossed in some leopard to really make it fun. I got this scarf for Christmas and I love how easy it is to wear. It's just one small loop that goes right over your head so you don't have to worry about twisting it around or getting it to fall right. Scarves for beginners.

Oh, and yes, you're right, I am wearing those Madewell jeans again. I was this close to taking them back, and then my go-to pair started to disintegrate. I decided I was just being a bit hypercritical of them, the knees really aren't any bigger than any other pair I own. And in case you're wondering, I did break my "no more boots" ban and grabbed another pair during Sole Society's after Christmas sale. They were final sale, which was a bit of a mistake because they hit my ankle bone a little funny. With extra thick socks it isn't that noticeable, but I'm hoping they break in a little better.

 In other clothes related news, I have to get my headshot taken at work today, which was weirdly stressful to plan an outfit for. It feels like getting ready for school photos all over again. I'm writing this post in advance, so fingers crossed I didn't freak out and pick out something totally crazy this morning!

Linking up with Friday Fab FavoritesRandom Wednesday#stylemeweekly and Style Me Wednesday.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

... Went to a charity event for the Kerry Wood foundation, which was at the new Harry Caray's at Watertower Place. I was a little apprehensive because I don't really care about the whole sports thing, but it was fun to go through their little museum, play some sports games, see how my wingspan compares to Scottie Pippen's, and check out how I'd look as a Blackhawk. There was also an open bar, the Plain White T's performed about 10 feet from our table, and I shook Kerry Wood's hand, so all in all, a pretty good night. I wonder how much the Plain White T's hate Hey There Delilah at this point...
...Got an early start to the weekend when the internet went down at work.
...Went to the outlet mall to try to find a new purse that would convince myself that I don't need this beauty from Kate Spade and failed miserably.
...Went out with the in-laws to Chicago Cut as a little preview to our rehearsal dinner, and my god the steak I had was good! I'm super excited to go back in a few months.
...Took an early morning trip to IKEA (seriously, we managed to get there before it opened) to buy a couple new storage solutions for our house, and then took 3 episodes of Gilmore Girls to put everything together.
...Caught up with some friends who were in town for a little Sunday Night Football.

I hope you had a good one! As a little PSA, I've suddenly hit a time crunch with the wedding planning where I just don't have the time to put together content for this little bloggy, so I'm going to try out just posting 3x a week this week. Come back for an outfit on Wednesday and a recipe on Friday.

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Current Wishlist

Coat - Club Monaco / Heels - Banana Republic / Necklace - Stella & Dot / Dress - Piperlime / Bag - Kate Spade / Necklace - BaubleBar / Watch - Kate Spade / Sweater - Gap / Bikini - Kate Spade

Around this time each year, as I snuggle down under my faux fur blanket and start dreaming about spring break, pastels start to draw me in. I've been wanting a smaller bag that fits my iPad mini to go with my wool coat, but now I'm thinking instead of a dark color maybe a pretty lavender would do the trick instead. Or maybe I'll just get a new wool coat for spring, like this pretty one from Club Monaco, so I don't have to worry about matching. I'm also dyyyyyying over this little striped dress, I'm not sure how it would look on my figure but I can imagine this working so well for a wedding this spring or maybe for one of my own wedding events. As for the bikini, well, I've been staring at it every day wondering if my chest would fit into the top and really need to go into the store to see how it looks.

What's on your current wishlist?

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