Monday, April 12, 2021

March 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.


Better late than never on this post, amiright?! I apparently did one LOFT order in March, and purchased nothing else. This is the time of year when we have one warm day I'm like "GAH NEED ALL THE SPRING CLOTHES" which is exactly what happened here. We had a few days in the 70's and 80's so I got to wear a few of these, and my fav is definitely the black dress - it's so easy and fun to wear! 

Here's what I bought in March: 


LOFT Peplum Tee (sold out noooo - here are one, two, three similar tops) - originally $59.50, on sale $35.70. It's a little breezy for Chicago weather, but super cute! I somehow got a stain on it immediately when wearing it the first time so I'm currently crossing my fingers it comes out in the wash! 
LOFT Black Shirtdress - originally $89.50, on sale $44.75. This is my favorite cut of dress from LOFT from last summer so I was excited to see it again. It's very light and breezy, perfect for hot hot summer days. The only funny thing about it is that the buttons are all functional, and I did look in the mirror while wearing it and realized one of the middle buttons had come undone - whoops! 
LOFT Everyday Sweater - originally $49.50, on sale $24.75. Actually I'm not sure why I said the black dress was my favorite because I have definitely been reaching for this sweater every time it comes out of the wash. It's a great lightweight sweater for spring, but the fabric is still really soft, not scratchy like a lot of lightweight sweaters can be. I might need it in another color or two...
LOFT V-Neck Shell - originally $44.50, on sale $22.25. I always want to wear cute little camis under sweaters and blazers, but they look terrible with my bras when I inevitably get too hot and take the top layer off. I love that this has the feel of a cami but with the ability to hide thicker straps. 

Total spent: $127.45

In April I'm trying really hard not to buy anything because... we're moving!! More details to come, but we are spending this month packing so I probably don't need to buy anything more to pack up... right? Right. Right? 

We'll see in a month ;)



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Friday, March 5, 2021

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! This weekend we're celebrating Mia's birthday again, with Jeff's family this time. Nothing like three parties for one little girl! Of course, you don't have to twist my arm to get me to eat another piece of cake ;)

Here are my finds for the week: 





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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Mia's 2nd Birthday Party

Two year old birthday party decoration ideas

My baby girl is TWO today!!! I can barely remember her as a tiny baby anymore - instead I see a boisterous little girl who loves giving big hugs, running fast, reading books, eating any produce she can find, and generally creating chaos. She makes me laugh every day with her elephant impression and when she requests "blueberry tummy" and "strawberry tummy" after I blow raspberries on her tummy. I love that little girl to pieces!

After our giant birthday party for Mia last year (it was the last time we had people to our house!) I tamed it down a little, you know, mainly because of the pandemic. We celebrated over the weekend with just my parents and my sister's family, and a whole lot of balloons. I didn't go for a theme this time, and instead had the theme just be "pink birthday." 

Pink streamers and balloons

For decor, I found this balloon kit on Amazon. I keep complaining about the effort we put into it, but really it probably took Jeff and I an hour and a half to put it together, and that includes manually blowing up all of the balloons because I didn't realize until too late that the package said you should definitely use a pump ;) And the impact is real! It looks so good in photos, and is still looking pretty good several days later because I told Jeff we had to leave it up until Mia's actual birthday. The kit included balloon tape (a long ribbon with holes) that you insert the balloons into, which made things really easy. It also had glue dots for filling in gaps, which worked amazingly well! 

Decorations for a toddler girl's birthday party, blush pink and gold balloon arch and streamers

I also bought the matching streamer kit off of Etsy. The balloon kit and streamer kit are made in the UK and I don't know what the deal is, but there were a ton of vendors on Etsy from the UK just straight up selling these kits they didn't make. Not sure how that's allowed, but if you see one with pictures that look like this, chances are it's the exact same thing. I bought two of the streamer kits and I definitely recommend that to get a full look if you're covering a space more than six feet wide. The streamer kits were way more frustrating for me to put up than the balloons even though they look simple (partially because Mia was refusing to nap while I was working on them and just screaming into the monitor). The problem is that the string they provide in the kit is stretchy, so it slowly drooped as I added more and more streamers to it. I definitely recommend using regular fishing wire instead! 

Cricut banner sign ideas

The only other decoration we had this year was the Happy Birthday sign - I made it on my Cricut! That thing has honestly saved me so much money just in banners that it's going to pay itself off soon ;) I used this paper for it.

2 year old girl pink birthday cake with sprinkles

The cake was by my friend Laura at Butter Cream Flour. Her cakes are actually the best I've ever tasted and they're so beautiful too! She ends up booked solid some months so definitely reach out a few weeks early if you're interested! 

Birthday party gift bags

And then I decided to put together a couple of little gift bags for my sister's kids and then for Mia to bring to her preschool pod buddies at school today. I made the little birthday cupcake cutouts on my Cricut (using this free SVG), and also wrote the names on the tags using the Cricut pen (note - the pen tool outlines fonts when it draws them, so I just colored in the insides of the letters by hand). 



And now get ready, because here are a few more  photos from the day: 

What to wear when you and your daughter share a birthday, matching pink outfit ideas

party balloon decorations

pink birthday party ideas

toddler girl birthday party



Blush pink and gold party backdrop for a girl's birthday party


Pink party decoration ideas







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Monday, March 1, 2021

February 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.


We did a little shopping this month, and for non-pajamas/loungewear/athleisure too! I even shopped IN A STORE. I TRIED THINGS ON IN THE DRESSING ROOM. I mean, I didn't buy those things, but still! It's been literally a whole year since I've been in a dressing room. And then a woman peered in at me through the crack of the door and tried to come in (she somehow thought the room was empty?) and I will not be going into a dressing room again for a while.

I've now swung hard the other way from my pajama rut of January and February. Now that we've seen 50 degree weather in Chicago in the past week, I'm all about getting dressed again, and I want to get dressed in something pretty. Bring me some lacy, frilly, floral spring blouses. I'm all in. 

Here's what I bought in February: 


J.Crew White Skinny Jeans - originally $110.00, on sale $54.50. I went to put on my white skinny jeans from last year and they looked terrible - all stretched out and covered in stains! So it was definitely time for a new pair. I've tried J.Crew's white toothpick jeans in the past and didn't like the fit around the knee / ankle, but this year they somehow work for me. They're great because they're stretchy enough but aren't skintight and aren't see-through. Win win win. 
J.Crew Blue Floral Ruffle Blouse - originally $89.50 on sale $39.50. Love love love this. It's one of those tops that can be dressed up or down really easily. There's really pretty lace detail at the neckline and at the hem, and I love the little ruffle details at the shoulder. I wore it here.
J.Crew Ruffle Button Down - originally $118.00 on sale $82.50 used rewards $72.50. This blouse is so beautiful in person!!! The ruffle details on the sleeves and collar are so fun and well done, and the whole shirt just feels really well put together. I wore it here.
Madewell Light Wash Skinny Jeans - originally $128.00, on sale $77.40. I saw light wash jeans with an 8 inch rise and I pounced! Most jeans on the market these days seem to have a 10 inch rise, and I can't wear them because as a short-torsoed individual, they basically go up to my bra-line. These are thick, don't stretch out, and the talls are the perfect length for me. 

Total Spent: $253.90

I also ordered these flats but they did not work on me, the tiny bit of canvas around the top rubbed really bad. I also ordered this pretty blouse and am still waiting for it to show up! Besides the blouse, I'm also on the hunt for some pretty spring dresses! 



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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Outfits Lately

Where are you in your pandemic clothing choices? I've mostly been defaulting to loungewear and pajamas since the new year, mainly because pandemic winter is the actual worst. Every now and then I will put in a little more effort, and every time I make it at least two thirds of the way through the day before I switch back to sweatpants. It's the little things, you know. 




Sweatshirt / Leggings / Socks (Bombas are the actual best, literally the only socks I wear!)






Similar Sweater / Similar Jeans / Fleece Socks (also the best but in a very different way - apparently I'm a sock influencer now ;)










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Monday, February 22, 2021

Mia's Spring Wardrobe



As soon as you have your kids figured out, something changes, am I right? Mia's growth had been slow and steady, and she was changing sizes every 6 months or so. She even somehow managed to always change clothing sizes with the seasons to make things easy for me, starting from when she was an infant! And then, since right before Christmas, she somehow went from wearing 18-24 month clothes, to 3T clothes. Someone send help. 

(Except, I have to say, for cardigans and vests. What is up with baby cardigans and vests? I can't get her into tee shirts I bought in December, but she still fits into a 6-12 month vest and her cardigans from last fall. Someone, pls let me know what's up with baby vest sizing.) 



On the downside, bye money! But on the upside, I am never upset to shop for a whole new toddler wardrobe. I get most of Mia's clothes from H&M kids (I shop in both the toddler and girls sections right now), with stuff from Monica & Andy, Nordstrom, Crew Cuts, Old Navy, and Baby Gap thrown in too. While I went for earthier colors in the fall, for spring I decided to go all in on pink. She just looks so darn cute in it! 



(I recognize there are only two pairs of pants in this collage. Mia has more than two pairs of pants. They just are mostly these or these basic leggings that aren't very exciting.)




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Friday, February 19, 2021

Friday Finds

Happy Friday! We once again have nothing going on this weekend (what else is new?!) but I'm in final prep mode for celebrating Mia's second birthday next weekend. Figuring out how to make a birthday special for an (almost) two year old (eeek!) who doesn't really understand birthdays yet and doesn't realize she should be having a party is... weird? She does realize, however, that she wants presents. She even tried to claim my Valentine's Day flowers for herself ("I want pesent!") before she realized that flowers are not a fun toy. So besides presents, I also ordered a cake from Butter Cream Flour (my friend Laura's business, her cakes are seriously the most delicious ever!) and am trying to figure out how to strike a balance between decorating and making our house fun but not going totally overboard (see: Mia's first birthday party).

Anyway, here are my finds for the week: 





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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Current Beauty Favorites


Somehow my beauty routine keeps expanding - I used to be able to take a shower and run out the door, and now I realize I'm spending 15 minutes just washing my face and applying products in the morning. Someone send help. 

I have been loving these bronzer drops this winter. You add a drop or two to whatever serum or moisturizer you're already putting on your face, and it gives the perfect glow. It makes me feel presentable even on no-makeup days, and evens and brightens my skin just enough! 

I always mix the bronzer drops with this Vitamin C serum, which also helps my skin feel bright and fresh. After having Mia I felt like my skin was looking dull and tired (you know, probably from the drop in sleep and relaxation time ;) and this seriously helps. With any Vitamin C serum, don't try to save it - be sure to use it every day starting as soon as you buy it, because the serum will oxidize after a few months. I had it happen to me with one and it is so sad to see something you spent good money on go bad. 

I have been using a lash serum since the fall, and while it hasn't given me dramatic results like I see on some people, it has made my lashes a tiny bit thicker and longer. I'm not linking it here because I wouldn't really recommend it, but because I'm focusing on my lashes I've been going a little crazy with the mascara trying to convince myself that the lash serum is worth what I spent on it. I'm using the combo of this lash primer and this mascara. I've used the primer for years now, but have been trying different mascaras and this one definitely makes a big difference in length and fullness. Be sure to curl your lashes too for extra oomph. 

Because of the extra mascara it's a lot harder to wash my face, so I've been using this oil facewash. It helps melt away my mascara and actually gets my lashes fully clean (important if you're using an eyelash serum!) and helps keep my skin moisturized during this crazy winter. 

What also helps keep my skin moisturized is this avocado retinol sleeping mask. It feels super thick and luxurious going on, and has kept me from having a flaky forehead like I had last winter! I also love the eye mask

I'm also obsessed with this lip sleeping mask. I use it whenever I'm in the master bath, not just when I'm getting ready for bed, and it has kept me from getting chapped lips this winter. It feels like a really thick lip gloss, but isn't sticky. 

For keeping my body moisturized, I've been loving this body oil. With just lotion my skin tends to get itchy by the end of the day as it dries out, but layering on this body oil afterwards keeps my skin moisturized all day and night. 






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Monday, February 15, 2021

Currently #6

Happy Monday!! I totally forgot that I get the day off today, so yay surprise three day weekend! Mia still has school this morning so I think I'm going to go on a hunt for a chocolate croissant and try to return a few things to Nordstrom that I've been meaning to take back for like four months. 

These posts are always fun to put together, hope you're enjoying them too. Are you obsessed with something I should know about? Let me know! 


Cooking

I recommended these silicon lids on Instagram and realized I had never shared here! They are heatproof to 550 degrees so you can use them when you're cooking to cover dishes that don't have lids. They can also be used in the microwave to prevent splatter instead of using a paper towel. And they create a full seal, so you can use them to cover dishes in the refrigerator instead of using tin foil or plastic wrap, or to cover serving dishes to keep food hot. I honestly wasn't sure how much I would use them, but Jeff and I use them multiple times per day and have saved so much plastic wrap / aluminum foil / paper towels! They also are dishwasher safe so we just toss them in at the end of the day and have a full set clean and ready to go the next morning. 

I went a little crazy cooking for the Super Bowl - anyone else forget they were just cooking for their quarantine pod? I planned the menu thinking it would be just me, Jeff, and Mia, and honestly I don't know what I was thinking besides that of course we needed dip but of course we couldn't just have one app for the game and of course we still needed to have dinner too. Luckily Jeff's parents ended up coming over to join us because otherwise my stomach might have actually exploded. We did these sheet pan nachos and oooooooooh my gee. So freaking good. Maybe just plan for these to be your full meal if there are only two of you though, the four of us didn't even finish them off. I also made Chrissy Teigen's onion dip (from Cravings) and knife and fork meatball subs (from Hungry For More) and like honestly I'm drooling thinking about diving into those meatballs again. 

I also thought it would be fun to make sugar cookies with Mia which was an exciting experience to say the least. Frosting in her hair and on every surface in the kitchen, sprinkles everywhere, and lots of poke marks on the cookies. Plus she coughed on a bunch of them 🙈Luckily the cookies were just for us! Anyway I followed this three ingredient sugar cookie recipe from Kelly in the City (I did add vanilla per the rec, and had to add a little water to the dough bc it was too crumbly to roll) but they turned out to be the perfect cookie for frosting - not too sweet! I come from a strictly sprinkles-only cookie decorating family so it was exciting for me to put buttercream on a cookie and they turned out so. freaking. good. I think we'll have to make them every year now, but maybe with less cookie coughing. For people who normally frost cookies - how do you store them? I tried stacking in containers and the ones at the bottom fused into a giant cookie cake. Not really complaining about the cookie cake situation, but I'm not sure how to avoid in the future when I might be sharing cookies with other people - lots of wax paper? 

Reading

Jeff always makes fun of me for picking the saddest books and honestly, I'm not sure how it always ends up happening. But anyway, I finished reading Betty last week and holy moly it was really good but so so sad and disturbing. The novel follows Betty's half white, half Native American family living in the hills of southern Ohio in the 1960s. Betty just wants to write stories, giggle with her sisters, have friends at school, and spend time with her father, but is continually faced with incredible racism, mental health issues, rape and incest, and "the curse" that must have been put on their family after moving into a house with a dark past. I had a hard time getting through some of the scenes but still had to see it through to the end. 

Quarantivitying

I honestly haven't been blogging much lately (read: took almost a month off - whoops!) because I've been spending my blogging time either working on Cricut projects or my paint-by-number kit, and I finally finished my painting last week!! The kit says it's a 12 hour project but honestly it probably took double that, partially because I'm a perfectionist but also partially because some of the paint colors weren't very thick and needed multiple coats to cover the lines and numbers on the canvas. I loved doing it though, it was so relaxing and the perfect little break from work or momming. She definitely is a Monet though, looks cute from far away but don't get too close! I think I'm still going to eventually get her framed though and figure out a place to hang her! 

Buying

You might have seen on my instas that I picked up a few new arrivals from J.Crew (currently 30% off with code SPRING) and loooove them. Even if I won't get to wear them for a while because apparently we live in the arctic tundra now. I got this blouse and this blouse and they are so beautiful in person. I also picked up some new white skinny jeans because I pulled mine out of the closet to wear a couple weeks ago and realized they look terrible between being all stretched out and having quite a few stains. I have tried J.Crew's toothpick white skinny jeans in previous years and didn't like the fit (they were always too baggy around the knee/calf), not sure if the cut changed or my body changed but I love them now! And yes, despite what you may have heard on TikTok, you can still wear skinny jeans ;) 

I also am in the process of ordering Mia way too many birthday gifts! Will report back on what she actually likes, but we're trying this sensory kit, a couple of new books (I'm personally most excited about the second Escargot book - we got the first Escargot for Christmas and it is hysterical!), a bed for her Bitty Baby since Mia loves putting her baby down to nap, and lots and lots of puffy stickers




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