Wednesday, September 30, 2020

September 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 did I even buy this month?!? After sharing my budget posts for years (eep 2014!) somehow my organization system went off the rails. So I think this is all I bought in September, but really, who knows.

I keep going through phases of only wanting to wear loungewear (because I'm late to the quarantine party) and wanting to really get dressed, if that tells you anything about my purchases for the month. Usually I end up doing loungewear for getting up with Mia and getting her to preschool, and then get dressed "for work" when I get home. It's like a mullet day. 

I did however go a little crazy on the shoes this month. Usually what happens is, I order a bunch of shoes online (because I can't usually find my shoe size, eleven, in stores!) and I try them on and hate all of them for not being comfortable enough. But this time, I got three pairs in the mail on the same day and I LIKED EVERY SINGLE ONE. So now I have three new pairs of fall shoes to wear in my clofficeroom (closet/office/bedroom). You're welcome, Zoom calls. 

Anyway, here's what I bought in September... maybe.

Madewell Striped Sweater - originally $79.50, on sale $55.65. One of those things I saw and *HAD* to have. The stripes are navy and tan so it looks really cute with darker wash jeans. I wore it here
Abercrombie Black Bodysuit - $39.00. I bought a BODYSUIT and let me tell you, they're a little weird to wear! I thought I'd beat the system by just tucking it in and not actually doing the crotch snaps, but then you just have a little tail hanging down 😂 I mean sometimes it's nice to wear with skirts but overall a bizarre experience. This one is nice though because the material is like a light sweater and soft, versus feeling like you're wearing a leotard.
J.Crew Leopard Dress - originally $128.00, on sale $83.20.  EDIT: RETURNED I'm still a little on the fence about whether to keep this dress. On the one side, obviously it's leopard and I like the structure of the top. But, it's also really big throughout the body, which I like during the summer but am not so sure about it with tights and boots for winter. Plus we're in a pandemic so like, when am I wearing this? On the other side, if I'm inside all winter I don't necessarily have to wear tights with it, and I'm all about a good comfy house dress these days. 
UGG Tan Booties - $139.95. Lol yes these are UGG brand, ha! But no fleece inside sadly. I ordered these because they dip low in the front of the ankle and I haaaaaate when booties rub my ankles (see my rant with the other pair of booties haha) so I thought I'd give these a try. So cute, comfortable, and they fill a hole in my closet! Just a note that I thought they'd be closer to a nude from the pictures, but they're definitely brown.
J.Crew Loafers - originally $158.00, on sale $102.70. I am always a sucker for a good smoking slipper, even though they don't actually feel anything like slippers. Really cute with skinny jeans or leggings.
Abercrombie Colorblock Sweatshirt - $49.00. Oh my gosh I just realized I spent $49.00 on this. Why did I not try to get it on sale?!?! It is definitely not fifty dollars worth of sweatshirt, but it is amazingly soft and super cute with leggings for lazy mom day. 
Botkier Black Booties - originally $187.95, on sale $109.90. I had never heard of this brand before, and ended up ordering these right at the tail end of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale when everything else I ordered didn't work out. I love that these are a little bit dressier of a boot, and the shaft is slightly above the ankle so I don't have to worry about ankle rubbing (why 99% of the booties I order get returned). Some of the reviews complain about the ankle being too wide, and I really don't know what they're talking about because I have amazingly narrow ankles and these fit fine. My feet are the weirdest things - extra long, slightly wide, with tiny ankles. I wear any shoes with an ankle strap on the tightest setting. No wonder I can never find shoes. Foot rant over.
Abercrombie Striped Pullover - $45.00. Okay so this hoodie is the reason I ordered those other two Abercrombie items at full price. I decided I HAD to have this and it was about to sell out in my size, so I just went for it. So so so cute and cozy in person. They only have a few random sizes in different colors left, but I highly recommend it. 

Total Spent: $628.40
EDIT: Total Spent: $545.20

Yiiiiiikes. I mean, I knew I had gone over budget what with all of the shoes, but still! The only good news is that I've been mostly way under budget for the rest of the year, so it should all balance out in the end. 

I'm on a real cozy kick at the moment what with the temperatures dropping in Chicago (I woke up to temps in the '40s this week!!) so I'm assuming October will be filled with more lounge wear :) 

Are you still shopping? Or are you on a quarantine freeze? Let me know! 

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Monday, September 28, 2020

Motherhood Monday: On Halloween in 2020

Happy Monday!! We're *almost* in October, so naturally, I have Halloween on the brain! And I'm wondering - what are you planning to do for Halloween this year? 

(was she ever really this little?!?!?!)

Last year I went the laziest route possible. Mia was a cool seven months old, so I just put her in a little skeleton outfit and called it a day (which LOL I found on clearance at the end of the season for $2 and bought a size for this year! #momhack). We were just getting her dressed up for daycare so I didn't quite see the point, especially since she'd mostly be rolling around on the carpet and ripping off any hats or accessories I tried to put on her. 

But now that I have a cute little 18 month old running around, I want to put that girl in a costume! The only thing is, where to wear it? 

My plan is, for pandemic safety, to just take her "trick or treating" (read: costume showing off) to a few of our family member's houses, and social distance while we're there. I'm thinking we'll also end up dressing up for a day at preschool, but that remains to be seen. 

I originally got really stuck on the idea of dressing up Mia as Madeline after seeing this cute picture from Danielle Moss. But honestly pandemic me has no time to make Mia a complicated costume, and everything I wanted to buy was hovering in the $100 range. Seemed silly to drop a hundy on a costume we won't *really* get to use. Also, I knew my work was going to have everyone dress up on camera for a virtual Halloween and there's no way I was going to be one of Madeline's nuns 😆

So instead I pivoted. I bought Mia some green tights and a green dress, and we're having her go as Peter Pan! Add a couple faux fur items and some face paint, and Jeff and I will be a couple of Lost Boys. Easy peasy lemon squeazy. Costumes made mostly from items we have at home that won't be too hard to pull together. Perfect for a Pandemic Halloween. 

What are you up to for Halloween this year? Are you still going all-out, or have you reigned things in? 

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Monday, September 21, 2020


Thought I'd try a new post format today, just sharing a few of my favorites / what I'm up to this week. Let me know if you like this format, might try it again! 

summer white dress

One last summer dress!


I had to hop on the Selling Sunset bandwagon and man am I into it. I always say that reality shows are best when the cast all has something concrete in common, like a job. Who do you think is the worst one? I was thinking Chrishelle (also omg is that actually how you spell her name?!) might be an undercover mean girl, but after finishing season three Davina is like actually a sociopath right? Jeff and I also started Silicon Valley from the beginning, and that show is 100% my kind of humor, but also a little too much like my actual work life since I work in tech. And then we're a little behind but we just watched Always Be My Maybe on Netflix and it is so cute and funny, it had moments where we had to pause the tv because we were laughing so hard!! 


I just finished On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. It's the first novel by a successful poet, and you can definitely tell in the writing so it probably isn't for everyone. I thought it was beautifully written, but at times it gets really dreamy and it can be hard to figure out what is actually happening. The story is a Vietnamese twenty-something writing to his mother about growing up in America. 


Chicago dove headfirst into fall and I made a big old pot of chili to celebrate! Our recipe comes from my dad and barely has any instructions - brown 2 lbs of ground beef with diced bell pepper and onion, add beef broth, beans, canned tomatoes, diced green chilis, chili pepper, cumin, and pepper until it gets thick. I also made this veggie and sausage skillet that's one of my favorite weeknight meals - so easy! 


After hitting cocktails hard at the beginning of quarantine I've mostly been sticking to beer and wine, but I opened some champagne on Friday to celebrate something at work, and ended up using the second half of it to make Aperol Spritzes. I always forget how easy and refreshing they are! By the way, if you like to drink champagne or prosecco but don't finish the bottle in one sitting, you need a champagne stopper! It keeps the bubbles bubbly for a couple of days. 


I may have gone on an online shopping spree on Friday that included Christmas stockings 🙈- I want to personalize ours with my Cricut so I thought I should plan ahead. I'm sorry for talking about Christmas in what is technically still summer. For one more day. Then I went on a Cricut binge and bought a bunch of infusible ink to try. Do I need an easypress? Halpppppppp!! 

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Friday, September 18, 2020

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! Today Jeff's mom is coming to babysit all day so I get a full, uninterrupted day of work! Weirdly excited about it haha ;) We don't have a ton going on this weekend, so I'm also looking forward to getting some stuff done around the house and maybe going on a hunt for some mums (#ThisIs30).

Here are my finds for the week! Three of the items are from Madewell and are on an awesome sale right now for Madewell Insiders (all you have to do is sign up for their emails). The dress is 20% off, and the tee and boots are an extra 40% off the sale price. Not bad! And I looooooove that green poncho but the fabric has wool in it so it's a no go for me 😢so please buy it so I can live vicariously through you. How cute would it look with a long sleeve striped tee underneath?!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Outfits Lately

I lapsed on sharing my daily outfits - they were starting to feel a little repetitive and boring. That plus my room was a complete disaster for about a month. Now it's only a somewhat disaster. 

We went out to dinner last Friday and it was so lovely!! We went to Bar Roma and sat out on the patio, it felt super safe. They're only doing a three course prix fixe menu, but there were a lot of options so I was happy :) But really I probably would have been happy anywhere as long as they were being safe, it was so nice to have someone else make me a cocktail and to eat a nice meal without making a sinkful of dirty dishes. 

Threw on a lounge set - high waisted leggings and a crop top - and then realized there was NO way I could wear that in public hahaha. When I was ordering, I felt like I was brave enough ;) Especially funny because I have a really short torso so the top and leggings alllllllmost touch! 

Same day, but got cold :) 

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Monday, September 14, 2020

Motherhood Monday: Our Favorites at 18 Months

Looks like I haven't shared Mia's favorite things in months and months! (In case you missed it, our favorites for newborns, at six months, and at nine months. The smock bibs are my #1 overall pick though!) I, like every parent, bought approximately 1 million unnecessary items at the beginning of the pandemic hoping to keep Mia occupied, and of course her favorite activity is still taking all of our DVDs out of the cabinet. But, we do have a few new favorites I wanted to share. 

Climbing Triangle - I saw these on Instagram last year and thought, well that looks fun but not like something we have space for. But as I'm preparing for #pandemicwinter, I thought having something Mia could climb on indoors would be really nice to have for burning off energy and getting out her need to climb. I love this thing so far. We got the triangle with the slide/rockwall combo, which I like now but assume I will love once Mia figures out how to get onto the slide by herself. The only note I'd give is to just get the natural finish, and the white finish has already started to chip a little on the slide from flipping it over. 

Angelina Ballerina - Mia is obsessed with this book, we read it at least 10x a day. The story is about a little mouse who wants to be a ballerina. The book is so well done, the little illustrations are really cute and detailed. I remember reading the rest of the series that was written in the '80s and it turns out they're out of print! So I ended up finding a set on eBay to keep the love going (I found another set available here). I plan to give them to Mia one at a time as gifts over the next couple of years. 

Soccer Ball and Net - When we first started thinking about outdoor toys for our roof deck, every idea I had seemed like a bad idea on a fourth floor deck. I just had images of baseballs and basketballs flying off the roof and hitting passers by. A slide Mia could climb on also seemed like an exceedingly bad idea if it meant she could then climb up onto the waist-high wall. So a soccer ball and net it was! She figured out almost right away how to kick the ball, and even if she isn't kicking loves putting the ball in the net and cheering. 

Lovevery Toddler Kits - We received the baby kits as a gift when Mia was born, and I loved them. They are boxes filled with "Montessori" style toys, meaning they are mostly wood or natural materials, don't make noises or have flashing lights, and encourage babies to play in multiple ways to build creativity. There were always a few "filler" items in the boxes I didn't feel were necessary, but then all of Mia's absolute favorite toys came from the boxes too. The toddler kits, however, are a whole different ball game. Every item that comes out of them has been high quality and fun! If there's any problem, it's that we have too many toys now! 

Water Wow Books - I want to get Mia into coloring, but she is so dang messy with everything that I don't always want to go through the effort of pulling everything out and cleaning it up just for five minutes of fun. These books are great for mess-free painting at home or on the go. You just fill up the little "pen" with water, and they paint on the blank pages to reveal color. They dry blank again so you can use them over and over! 

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Friday, September 11, 2020

Friday Finds

Happy Friday! Mia's grandma is picking her up for a sleepover this morning, so we have 24 baby free hours on the docket!! I always end up missing Mia terribly, but not being responsible for keeping her alive and not having to pick up all of our belongings off the floor tonight sounds great at the moment. Jeff and I are planning to go out tonight for our first dinner date since FEBRUARY tonight so I'm just a little bit excited. Don't worry, we're going to a patio where we will be wearing masks, and it's walkable from our house so we won't be on public transit or in a cab. Very excited for someone else to make me a cocktail and do the dishes :) 

Here are the finds for the week! Those glasses are bluelight glasses - have you jumped on the bandwagon yet? With all the extra staring at screens of the past six months, I'm starting to think a cute pair would be a good idea. 

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Labor Day Weekend

Oh hey there! Just wanted to hop in and share some (read: maybe too many) photos from our Labor Day Weekend trip. We rented a lake house in southeastern Wisconsin for four nights, and it was kind of crazy how long and "vacation-like" it felt. We truly got to unplug and relax - or, at least as much as one can relax when your toddler is constantly trying to dive headfirst off the couch! To keep things safe, we just had a couple of family members we're seeing anyway during quarantine join us (and even then made sure we had a lot of circulation, and well-spaced bedrooms and assigned bathrooms), and brought in all of our food and beverages so we wouldn't have to shop locally.

My dad said there were at least "a hundred dollars worth of snapping turtles!" out on the lawn one morning 😂

Lots of frogs... including one Jeff caught in our bedroom!! 

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Friday, September 4, 2020

Friday Finds

It's an especially happy Friday today because we're in the middle of an extra long weekend! We rented a lake house with some of our friends waaaaay back in January for the long weekend. Sadly we decided it was the right call not to have twenty friends come with us (😓) but kept the rental anyway so we could still have a little getaway. 

I hope you're having a great long weekend!! No new content here on Monday, but I'm working on some posts for the rest of the week. I feel like that's pandemic life - one week I have everything totally together, and then the next week I post zero times. Anyone else? 

I did manage to have one win this week that felt fairly normal - I scheduled our family photos! Just a little PSA: if you haven't done pro family photos in the fall before, now is the time to book! Photographers offer mini shoots in September/October for you to use on Christmas cards, they're quick photo sessions (good for little kids) and are cheaper than it typically would be to book a photographer. Last year I waited until late-September to try to book something and all of the photographers were full. We ended up getting a family friend to do them for us, and I was so happy with how the photos turned out I think we'll try to do them every year. 

Anyway, here are my finds for the week. These posts are always a little dangerous to put together, I may have ordered this sweatshirt (and then this one too - eep!) while putting this together. I figure if this quarantine thing goes on all winter I could use a few more loungewear items ;) 

one / two / three / four / five

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Wednesday, September 2, 2020

August 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.

Happy SEPTEMBER!! What??!?!?! September means it's been a full six months of quarantine, and a full year since I went back to work from maternity leave. It also means Mia is officially a year and a half old - 18 months tomorrow! 

I shopped and shopped and shopped at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale so I held back purchasing anything else. Then my Nordstrom order came and I only wanted to keep one thing, so we've got a bit of a lighter month. I'm super excited for the couple of items from LOFT, they're so gorgeous and fun for fall! Unfortunately that leopard print skirt is already sold out, which is especially sad because the fit is much more flattering than the bias-cut slip skirts that have been so popular. I'm linking it anyway in case it comes back in stock! It sold out super fast so I'm hoping they do a restock.

Here are my purchases in August: 

What I bought in August - pretty pre-fall pieces

LOFT Leopard Skirt - originally $79.50, on sale $35.70. Crossing my fingers this comes back in stock for you! Zero stretch so keep that in mind for sizing. 
LOFT Tiered Dress - originally $80.00, on sale $30.00. This is the exact same cut as my pink bird dress, so basically perfection. It's loose and flowy but also manages to still be flattering. I love the print because I think it will work well with tights once the weather cools down. Also are we still doing tights in 2020 or are we just giving up once it gets too cold for bare legs? 
Leith Cozy Long Cardigan - originally $69.00, on sale $39.90. The one item from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale I decided to keep! It's surprisingly soft and fills a hole in my closet. 
J.Crew Striped Tee - originally $39.50, on sale $19.75. Just another wardrobe staple over here! I love J.Crew's tees because they're nice and thick. I suggest sizing up as they tend to shrink a little in the wash. 
LOFT Tiered Skirt - originally $59.50, on sale $29.75. Super comfy thanks to the stretchy waistband. I got a tall so it isn't too short on me. I wore it with a black tank in my Instagram stories, but it also has a hint of pink in it so it would look cute with a pink sweater too. 

Total spent: $155.10

For September, I'm on my perpetual hunt for the perfect booties (not too high of a heel, either lower profile on the front of the ankle or taller than ankle length) and probably stocking up on a few sweaters as all of my favorites are getting a little old looking. How about you? 

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