Monday, March 30, 2015

This Weekend...

This weekend I…

…Went out for wings and beers at one of the bars in our neighborhood, because it's March Madness and what else are we supposed to do ;) I picked 3 of the 4 final four teams correctly, so I've got my fingers crossed!
…Picked up my wedding invitations! Next steps, stamping and assembling ;)
…Went to a bridal shower for my college roommate, which involved a lot of presents and a super adorable mimosa bar.
...Actually went to Target and actually found the things I was looking for last week. And now there is a hot pink lamp in our bedroom. Shhh, don't tell Jeff, I don't think he's noticed yet...
…Celebrated my sister and mom's birthdays up at my parent's house, but after all of the cake I had this week I had to do a little abstaining. I'm trying to count calories again this spring (I always use LoseIt), and for some reason it's much harder this year than it has been in the past.
…Met some friends at Lagunitas Brewery down in Pilsen, which is always weirdly a haven for babies. Who brings their baby to a taproom? Now I know what I'll be up to on Sunday afternoons in a few years ;)

I hope you had a good one!

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Friday, March 27, 2015

March Budget

So I basically hit my $300 budget right on the nose this month. I really thought I was going to go way, way over budget this month, but I ended up ordering a bunch of stuff I didn't like so I'm in the clear. Plus, I had a couple of gift cards from my birthday which definitely helped.

My favorite thing I got this month was this blue scalloped dress from Loft. My theory has always been to buy dresses when I find them, and assume I'll find an event to wear them to, versus shopping when I need something for an event, because inevitably I won't be able to find anything I like. This dress is absolutely perfect, from the cut to the color to the fun scalloped detailing. I can't wait to wear it to one of our ten (!) weddings this year, or maybe to a shower or even my rehearsal dinner.

I also was excited to find another pair of jeans. I wore this pair here, and while they're a straight cut they have the casual feel of a boyfriend jean. I discovered that there was a little wire sticking out of my favorite pair of riding boots that was basically shredding all of my jeans around the knees, so new denim was definitely in order.

I also clearly am on a spring kick - I picked up four dresses and a skirt even though it won't be warm enough to wear them for a couple more months here in Chicago. What can I say, I'm excited for this summer!

So anyway, here's the damage for March:

JCrew Factory Skirt - originally $69.50, on sale $44.50
Old Navy Dress - originally $34.94, on sale $24.38
Loft Jeans - originally $79.50, on sale $40.55, used giftcard $36.20
Loft Dress - originally $89.50, on sale $45.65, used giftcard $0
Forever 21 Maxi Dress - $32.90
Wristology Watch - originally $49, on sale $39, used giftcard $0
Sole Society Booties - $79.95
Sole Society Clutch - $44.95, used giftcard $0
JCrew Factory Sweater - originally $78, on sale $54.50
Forever 21 Dress - $27.90 EDIT - Returned for store credit

Total Spent: $300.33
Total Saved: $285.81

For April I'm probably looking for more dresses for all of my events, as well as a pair of white shorts (my favorites are basically dead) and more jeans.

How did your budget go for March?

Linking up with Fran.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Neutrals

Sweater (similar) and Jeans - Old Navy / Booties - Sole Society / Necklace (similar) - JCrew Factory / Watch - Wristology

I wore this over the weekend, and accidentally matched with my friend. Seriously, we were basically identical, from our crystal necklaces to our suede booties. You know what they say, great minds think alike. Normally matching would be something that bothered me (especially when Jeff puts on the same thing as me after he saw me get dressed) but in this case it was so funny it was good.

Even though people wear white denim all year round now, not just from Memorial Day to Labor Day, I still don't tend to wear it in the fall or winter. You know, it's just not my style. As soon as the weather started to heat up I brought them back out into full rotation, and have worn them the past two weekends in a row. While I successfully made it through Saint Patrick's Day celebrations and a beer festival without any stain issues, last Saturday I somehow managed to drop my lipstick on them. I wasn't super freaked out because I've actually been looking for a new pair (for some reason I got a little excited and bought these smaller and longer than usual) but still tried get the stain out. While Tide to Go totally failed, two washes with Resolve Dual Action did the trick. This stuff is seriously amazing. I also once accidentally dyed this whole sweatshirt purple and somehow got it back to white. The trick is to check if the stain got out in the wash, and if it did not, to not throw it in the dryer - heat will set the stain.

Not to totally shift gears here, but tonight we're finally having our cake tasting for the wedding! This is the activity I was definitely most excited about. Instead of one big cake, we're going to do a bunch of little ones, so we get to pick quite a few different cakes and fillings. Cake for dinner, that's a thing, right?

Two more ways to wear white denim:


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Monday, March 23, 2015

This Weekend...

This weekend I…

…Went to the Burger Bar in our neighborhood for a couple of beers and a whole lot of basketball. Did you fill out a bracket this year? I have two, and for some reason I made the same upset picks in both. Rookie mistake.
…Tried to stalk out this cute section Alissa found, but none of the items were in my Target yet. And of course, dropped a hundy stick anyway because, well, Target.
…Went to Chicago Beer Festival, a big festival featuring a bunch of local breweries in the beautiful Great Hall in Union Station. It was fun to try a lot of new beers I'd never had before (and discover some new favorites) as well as people watch - a huge limbo party broke out about halfway through. I'm definitely going again in the fall, only next time I'll wear my own pretzel necklace.
…Bought and wrapped a whole lot of presents - next weekend I'm going to a bridal shower and a birthday party for my mom and sister.
…Met up with some friends at Racine Plumbing for, you guessed it, more beer and basketball.

I hope you had a good one!

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Good Listens

Since I started my job in September, I've been commuting somewhere between 45 and 75 minutes each way, four days a week. I tend to take the train on Mondays and Fridays to escape the really bad traffic, and drive or work from home the rest of the week. All of that time in the car has to be filled somehow, and while sometimes a good jam out to Taylor Swift is in order, most of my time is spent listening to different podcasts. I know a lot of people just started listening to podcasts a couple months ago when Serial was at it's height (P.S., did you hear Adnan was granted an appeal?), so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite listens:

The Right Reasons - Confession: I started watching The Bachelor after shunning it for years because of this podcast. The Right Reasons is about reality TV, and they cover my old favorites The Challenge and The Real World as well as get me hooked on new shows like Below Deck (although they haven't managed to win me over on Vanderpump Rules yet). I love the commentary, but also just listening to the banter between the hosts Jacoby and Juliette who I basically want to be my best friends. They tend to release new episodes on Fridays, and I get really upset if it isn't out in time for my commute home.

Stuff You Should Know - This pod makes the little nerd in me very happy, as the hosts answer the questions you never realized you always wanted to know, like why lefties exist, what the deal is with crop circles, the history of bars, and how the Muppets work. Plus the hosts are delightfully nerdy and sometimes get in disagreements over whose research is more accurate.

Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me - Do you love trivia and wish there were more places you could showplace your skills than down at the local watering hole on trivia night? Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me is a weekly news quiz show that covers news from the week through different games, like finish the limerick and Bluff the Listener, where you have to guess which truly ridiculous news story actually happened (like that a mayor in Italy actually used faux prostitutes to promote recycling to the men who tried to pick them up).

What podcasts are your favorites?

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

White Button Down

Shirt - Ann Taylor / Jeans - Loft / Booties - Sole Society / Earrings - BaubleBar / Necklace (similar) - JCrew Factory / Watch - Wristology 

I was getting ready to go out and grab dinner a couple weeks ago, and all the sudden felt frumpy in my button down/sweater combination. A little feeling of dread settled in the bottom of my stomach, because I knew as soon as I went into my closet to find something else to wear that I would hate everything and it would turn into an hour long affair of trying on and throwing everything I owned on the floor. But then I pulled off my sweater, and all the sudden felt perfect. A crisp white button down, boyfriend jeans, and ankle boots were all I needed to feel perfectly cool and put together. Crisis adverted, for one day at least.

Have I been all about that white button down lately? Here's two more ways to wear:


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Monday, March 16, 2015

This Weekend...

This weekend I…

…Celebrated the slightly warmer weather by dressing inappropriately and sitting in the sunshine as long as possible.
…Hit one of the neighborhood bars for wings and college basketball in true Kristina/Jeff fashion.
…Managed to cross a bunch of wedding things off our list, including picking up our rings (!!), getting suits for all of the guys, choosing all of the songs for the ceremony, and finding some fancy dancing shoes for Jeff. Oh, and you know, a whole lot of crafting.
…Went to a couple of St Patrick's Day parties during the day on Saturday, which included a whole lot of porch sitting and cheap beer :)
…Binged far too many episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, which is so in tune with my sense of humor that I'm convinced it was written just for me. All I have to say is, thank you Tina Fey. Thank you.
…Got bitten by some sort of crazed insect seven times while I was sleeping and subsequently spent a lot of time with my ankle elevated and iced. I had a bedbug situation in college and then another crazed insect situation in my last apartment in Chicago, and am now wondering if I am cursed, or just particularly allergic to spiders.
…Had brunch at Shaw's Crab House, which included a fantastic combination of regular brunch food and oysters, crab, and other seafood.

I hope you had a good one!

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Friday, March 13, 2015

A Little Blush

Sweater (similar) - Loft / Blouse - Ann Taylor / Jeans - Gap / Flats (on sale!) - Vince Camuto / Necklace (similar) - JCrew Factory (gifted)

Happy Friday!! The weather this week has been freaking amazing (well, in comparison to the last few months anyway) and so I celebrated by putting away my black and burgundy and pulling out some blush instead. I also finally traded in my riding boots for some flats. It's funny, even though I know it's coming, every year I get so surprised by the onset of spring.

In case you're wondering, yes, my hair is looking a little different here - I have in extensions! People always think of extensions as a way to lengthen their hair, but I more wanted a set to add volume and help my hair hold a curl. I went in for a hair cut this weekend and finally remembered to bring in my extensions to get them cut to blend in better. They're now an inch or two longer than my hair and a shade or two darker, giving the look of lowlights. I don't plan on wearing them all the time, just when I want a little more oomph! Like, maybe for a little date night this weekend ;)

Two other ways to wear a white button down: 


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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wedding Beauty Prep with Optic White

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Colgate-Palmolive. All opinions are mine alone. #OpticSmiles #CollectiveBias.

I never thought I would be one of those girls, with tons of beauty products all of which are essential. Heck, until college I never washed my face with anything besides regular old Dove soap, rarely used hair products, and had a makeup bag that only contained concealer, powder, mascara and eyeliner. Somehow things changed, and now, as I'm entering the final countdown for my wedding, I've been using a ton of products to make sure I have the clearest skin, the shiniest hair, and the whitest smile for the big day.

One of the new products I tried to get ready for the big day is Colgate® Optic White® Express White toothpaste, which whitens teeth in just 3 days* just by brushing! I've used other whitening products in the past, but they usually take so long to work that I either give up or forget to keep using them (ahem, short attention span much?). I have a ton on my brain right now (and saved in eighteen billion Google docs) so I love that this whitening system isn't something I have to actively remember to do, because to use the Express White all I have to remember to do is brush my teeth.

The best part is? It actually works! The Colgate® Optic White® Express White toothpaste has 2x the professionally recommended whitening ingredient (vs Optic White Sparkling Mint toothpaste) so it really does the trick. I grabbed the Express White toothpaste at my local city Walmart the other day (yep, we have those in Chicago now!) while I was picking up some other daily essentials - while other people may find it on a fancy endcap display, I found it on the shelf with Colgate's other whitening toothpastes:

I'm glad to have whiter teeth checked off my to-do list, since it's still about a mile long! Now I can focus on the rest of my wedding prep.

*For best results, use as directed for 4 weeks

Linking up with Best of Beauty.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

This Weekend...

This weekend I…

…Came home from a couple days downtown at The W Chicago Lakeshore for work, where I managed to get an upgraded room with a freaking amazing view. It was a fun couple of days but also a lot of late nights (to the point where I thought I may have been hallucinating seeing the guys from Duck Dynasty in the lobby - nope, not hallucinating!) so I was glad to go home and spend Friday night catching up on my DVR.
…Met up with my mom and sister for brunch at Yolk, where, of my own free will, I ordered kale. What's happening to me?! The end of March is usually when I start my annual spring diet, so I'm trying to get back on track.
…Went to try on my wedding dress!! I picked it out almost a year ago at this point, so I was very excited to try it on again. Well, excited and nervous - what if I didn't still like it?! Well no worries, it was just as beautiful as I remembered.
…Had a little dinner date with the boy at First Draft, which has an amazing beer selection and it turns out so many televisions that they were even showing the high school women's basketball state championship.
…Got a facial at the new Mud Facial Bar, where their specialty is quick customized 30 minute facials for $40 a pop. Yay for glow-y skin!

I hope you had a good one!

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Wishlist: All of the Shoes

You guys, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. There are some temperatures in the freaking 40's in my future, the official start of Spring is just a couple weeks away, and we're about to get a whole lot more daylight since we spring forward this weekend. The biggest relief out of anything though is the end of boot season. I love my boots, but after wearing them day in and day out since September I am so over them. Bring on the sneakers, the sandals, and the heels! Maybe I should get a pedicure…

Which pair is your favorite?

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

More Stripes, More Vests

Tee - Loft / Vest (similar) - Old Navy / Jeans - Gap / Boots - Bandolino / Necklace - ℅

Are you all just as sick of your winter clothes as I am? I feel like I just keep rotating through the same combinations over and over - stripes, vests, boots, and repeat. Now that it's March I'm hoping to be able to break out some of my spring clothes soon!

 This week has been pretty busy for work, our whole sales team is in town and we're all staying downtown for the rest of the week. Lots of meetings and lots of parties. On top of that, we had a meeting last night with our minister for the wedding - it's exciting to finally be planning the ceremony!

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