Monthly Archives: July 2014

July Shopping Summary


Life may be crazy but I honestly haven’t done a lot of retail therapy. Okay, maybe a bit! But it’s only because Target sucks me in every time. Oh, and I worked at a half marathon expo and I am incapable of being surrounded by running goodies and not purchase something.

july-shopping-summary1. Apera Bags Active Pack Gym Backpack – $86 w/expo discount (same)

2. Sole Society Celia Silver Loafers – $59.95* (same)

3. Sperry Top Sider Chandler Pewter Boat Shoes via ebay – $15 w/gift card from Influenster (same)

4. Target Merona Pink Tori Sandals – $19 (same)

5. Target Merona Boyfriend Blazer – $35 (same)

6. Be Good Tees – $15 total w/credit from Earndit (same)

7. Target Merona Vintage Tees – $16 total on sale (same)

8. Tortoise Resin Link Necklace – $8

*This money has been sitting in my Sole Society account since January. Do I count it or not since it was already spent once? I’m going with not counting it again.

Total: $194

Plain tees are my new favorite thing to wear this summer and they work well for my office, too, so I’ve been slowly stocking up on them. I actually like the Target ones better than the Be Good ones although, if you’re into sustainable enviro-friendly manufacturing then go with the Be Good ones. They’re still nice tees, just a little shorter and boxier then I would like.

I’d had my eye on the Sperry’s for months and finally found a pair in my size on ebay. Combined with the fact that I earned a $25 ebay gift card from Influenster for writing three shopping guides, I went ahead and ordered these to replace my silver Nine West boat shoes that are about to fall apart.

And the silver loafers? Well, as I said when I wore them, these are instead of buying a pair of silver heels which had also been on my wish list for months.

The necklace was the only item I brought home and kept from a clothing swap I went to last weekend. I paid $8 to attend so I figure the necklace cost me $8. Still a good deal if you ask me.

I saw the pink sandals at Target when I was there this weekend running errands but they didn’t have my size. Enter my Target Red Card and free shipping. I hardly have any brightly colored shoes (other than my pink heels) and I thought these would be a fun addition. They should arrive on Friday so hopefully they work out! The white blazer should arrive on Friday, too, and I’m REALLY hoping that works out. I’ve been wanting a white boyfriend blazer for at least a year and haven’t yet found one that I didn’t think resembled a lab coat or didn’t cost hundreds of dollars. Fingers crossed this one works out.

Finally, my new gym bag. My old one was a freebie I got for running a half marathon in 2010 and it was being held together by safety pins at this point. I wanted another gym backpack, not a shoulder or duffel bag and when I saw this one at the Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon expo I knew I had to have it. It’s totally amazing and for every three bags that Apera sells they donate one to the Special Olympics.

So, overall, I think I did pretty well in July. Now that my office isn’t basically next to Express, Target, Nordstrom Rack, H&M, Forever 21 and DSW I have a feeling I’ll be doing a tad less shopping. Oh, it also helps that I’m less likely to online shop at work, too!

Linking up with Franish’s Budgeting Bloggers

SIA: The Accidental Outfit

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

Hey, everyone! How’s it going? I had an insanely busy weekend and my husband (aka my photographer) was working for almost all of it.

My weekend consisted of:

  • Taking Chewie to the dog park
  • Making cinnamon sugar pecans and chocolate chip peanut butter cheesecake bars for a bake sale
  • Helping a lovely woman edit her closet before a move (shout out to Susan! It was lovely to meet you!)
  • Attending a clothing swap
  • Making a new recipe for dinner
  • Attending a fundraiser at Revolution Brewing
  • Doing laundry, going to Target, making a menu and grocery list, and watering plants

Notice that it did not involve taking any outfit photos. Which meant that I was sad that I wasn’t going to be participating in this week’s Style Imitating Art as chosen by Jen. She chose a lovely Henri Mattisse painting called Pot of Geraniums and it’s just full of fun colors.

But then, when I got home from work on Monday, I realized that my outfit already had two of the main colors in it! All I needed to add was some pink. And so this outfit was born.

Navy shirt with green pants and pink shoes, Chicago style bloggertortoise-resin-necklaceShirt – Old Navy (similar) | Pants – Express (similar) | Shoes – Jessica Simpson via Poshmark (similar) | Necklace – clothing swap (similar)

Admittedly, to work I wore silver boat shoes and my blue necklace but I think I like this version better. The pop of the pink in the shoes just takes it a bit over the edge, right?

Also, this picture was taken using our DSLR, remote, and a tripod. It was a pain in the ass. Hat’s off to bloggers who do that on the regular!!


Stitch Fix Review #7


Those of you who have been around the blog world a bit have probably heard of Stitch Fix (that’s my referral link, by the way). It’s the service where you pay a $20 styling fee, their stylists send you 5 items to try on, then, if you purchase anything, your $20 fee go towards the items you purchase.

As you can probably tell from the title of this post, I’ve now tried it seven times. My first time was all the way back in March of 2012 so I was totally using Stitch Fix before all the other big bloggers. I’m such a Stitch Fix hipster. Ha ha.

Anyway, I tried it again this month. Since I started my new job and have an entirely new dress code, I asked them to send me more casual pieces I could wear to work. And while they definitely got pretty close to my style (sharing your Pinterest board helps) I didn’t end up keeping anything. Here’s why.

1. Market and Spruce Alexia Chambray Belted Shirt Dress


I pulled this out of the box and was immediately dismayed at how badly it was wrinkled. And then when I held it up to show my husband he wanted to know if they were sending me Amish clothes. Aside from the buttons, it did look pretty matronly! And, as you can see in the photos, it was NOT flattering. Too long, too frumpy, too ridiculous. The decision to send that back was easy.

2. Mystree Jackie Striped French Terry Asymmetrical Jacket

3. Liverpool Vinny Ankle Length Colored Skinny Jean


Now, these two items are definitely more my style. In fact, they are so my style that I already own very similar items. I own a navy and white striped jacket and red ankle pants. Granted, I don’t own any colored jeans (other than white) so I admit I was tempted to keep these pants anyway. But, they were baggy at the knees and the rise was a tad bit higher than my short-waisted self likes. So, back they went. Although, I was pleasantly surprised at how well they fit otherwise. Especially considering someone who has never met me pick them out and sent them to me!

Oh, the jacket went back, too, because as cute as it was, I already have a striped jacket I like just fine.

4. 19 Cooper Adrina Short Sleeve Button Up Blouse

5. 41Hawthorn Stacey Lightweight Leopard Print Infinity Scarf


The blouse was the one items I was really hoping would work. They also very nicely sent a cami with it since it’s entirely sheer. However, when I put it on I was sad that A. it was so boxy and B. because it was so sheer I didn’t like the way it showed my pants underneath it. I felt that it was cutting me off at a spot that made me look very rectangular.

As for the scarf, my love of leopard is well documented. In fact, I already have two leopard print scarves. I couldn’t justify a third even though it is adorable.

stitch-fix-review-overallIn the end, I was pleased that the stylist sent me 3 out of 5 things I would have kept if I didn’t already have similar items in my closet. That tells me she at least understands my style! I’ve scheduled another fix for August and asked her to please look at my blog so she knows what items I already have. We’ll see what happens!

Linking up with Fashionably Employed More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express

Blue cardigan with black dress and sandals

My Favorite Things

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

I noticed last week that you all seem to get a kick out of it when I let Chewie steal the show. So, here he is again.

Blue cardigan with black dress and sandalsCardigan – J. Crew (similar) | Dress – The Limited (similar) | Necklace – NY & Co (similar) | Shoes – Vince Camuto (similar)

I mean, I hope you think the outfit is cute. It IS my favorite dress, after all.

Blue cardigan, blue dress, blue sandals and black dressAnd I know that this outfit is super matchy-matchy with the cardigan, shoes and necklace but sometimes it’s fun to use a solid neutral base to highlight another brighter color.

Or, you know, you just want to wear all your favorite things for no real reason. I don’t have anything too exciting going on at work today. I don’t have anywhere fun to be. I just wanted to wear this outfit (which, to be honest, has been worn many times before but not photographed).

So, tell me, you have certain pieces you just love to wear more often than others, right?

Little black dress with blue accessories


Weekend Silver Lining

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

So, I mentioned on Friday that I was looking forward to having an entire day to myself on Sunday. I had grand plans! Go to Goodwill and look for jeans to turn into cut-offs. Head to Athleta to cash in some gift certificates. Do ALL my laundry. Guess what I did instead?

Floral skirt with cardigan and silver flats

Cardigan – Van Heusen (similar) | Top – Old Navy (same) | Skirt – White House Black Market (similar) | Shoes – Sole Society (same)

I actually ended up spending two hours at the dog park with my husband and my pup. See, on Saturday Chewie figured out how to play in the doggie wading pool and we wanted him to enjoy it some more.

It took him awhile but, if you follow me on Instagram, you see that he ended the day as one wet pup.

I also took a nap, which seems to be my weekend M.O. lately. I put on some old episode of some forensics show from the Investigation Discovery channel via Netflix and pass out on the couch.

And, of course, since it’s Sunday I made our weekly dinner menu and grocery list and we went to the store.

But what about my outfit?

Mint cardigan, floral pencil skirt, silver shoes

I’ve wanted to wear this skirt with this cardigan ever since I got this skirt! I don’t know why it took me so long. And the shoes? I’m in love with them. I’ve been wanting a pair of silver heels for almost a year but couldn’t find any that weren’t super-duper high. Then I found these silver flats at Sole Society. I still had credit there and flats are more my office dress code speed these days.

These shoes might be making a lot of appearances so hopefully you won’t get sick of them!

Linking up with Fashionably Employed More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express

Making life a little bit more glamorous

Casual Friday

Yay for Friday! Does anyone else feel like this week went by super slowly? Or maybe it’s just because I spent most of it working on a 160 slide PowerPoint presentation. My life is totally glamorous.

J. Crew Leopard Perfect Shirt with skinny jeans and wedge sandals

Top – J. Crew Factory via ebay (same) | Jeans – Express via Poshmark (similar) | Shoes – Madden Girl via DSW (same)


Well, I suppose, even if my life isn’t glamorous my shirt can be. I mean, leopard print is pretty glamorous, right?

And, yes, this is the second time I’ve worn leopard print with these shoes. Not sure why I keep pairing the two things. Maybe it’s a sign that my brain is fried and is just making me reach for items it already knows go well together?

Regardless, I’m looking forward to the weekend. Tomorrow I’m working for CEP at the Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon Expo (yay for money to help pay off my credit card!) and then on Sunday Jason is taking his new car (college graduation gift to himself, by the way) racing and I have the entire day to myself! I’m giddy with thoughts about what I’ll do. In reality, I’ll probably end up glued to the couch. Let’s hope I find some motivation to do other stuff instead, okay?

Casual Friday with leopard print blouse and jeans

Short Suit

Casual Clothes · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

You know when you see things in a magazine as being on-trend and you think, “Who the heck can wear those things to work?”

I now have the answer.

I can. And I’ll still be more dressed up than some of the people there. Like the girl I saw yesterday whose dress barely covered her butt. Black blazer with black shorts and red blouse

Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Shorts – The Limited (similar) | Shirt – Express (same) | Shoes – c/o Fibi & Clo (same)

I’ve seen that shorts suits are apparently in style right now and it turns out I can actually wear one to work! Although, to be honest, this one didn’t turn out quite how I envisioned. It feels a bit frumpy to me and I think it’s because the jacket is too long for the shorts. And my shirt is tucked in funny.

But, hey, when you’re trying to take outfit photos while wrangling a bratty dog who won’t listen you take what you can get.

Although, this isn’t the first time I’ve worn shorts to work! Nope! I actually wore them at my old job, too.  Of course, those were longer. And, come to think of it, I haven’t worn them in a long time. I should break them out again. And then be sad at how I’m pretty sure they won’t fit.

Sigh. Anyone want some adorable pinstriped walking shorts? How about an adorable but bratty puppy?

Black shorts suit with red shirt

Linking up with Work Clothes, I Suppose for her Third Thursday Threads and SHORTS!

Hot and Misty

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

So, for some reason my comment notification emails are no longer showing up in my inbox. I’m not sure what’s up with that and I hope you guys are still getting my responses. Because I do try to respond to every comment I get! Even if today they are about how leggings are not pants.

White chiffon top and black leggings with scarf and fedora Top – Gap (similar) | Pants – Gap (similar) | Scarf – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – J. Crew Factory (same) | Hat – Taste of Randolph street festival vendor (similar)

Or maybe your comments will be about how my smile looks a little crazed. I took these pictures on Sunday and it was HOT and I just wanted to be done. I was sweating like crazy. But this outfit is actually perfect for my office and the weather today. Mainly because these are pants, not leggings. I swear! And the weather has cooled off substantially so wearing a scarf in July isn’t totally odd.

Although, just typing that seems odd. I swear, am I the only person who checks the weather a hundred times before deciding what to wear? You just never know in Chicago!

For example, like I said, on Sunday when I took these photos it was ridiculously warm outside and people were pressing the mist button on this sculpture at the park like crazy. Yes, this sculpture has a mist function. It’s super fun and I’d actually never seen it in action until Sunday.

Summer scarf with black and white outfit

See it in the background? And see the guy staring at it? That was basically everyone’s reaction. So, if you ever come to Chicago and want to see the misting sculpture, let me know. I’ll hook you up.

Simple but Good

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m still figuring out how to make time for everything in my life now that my husband and I both have new jobs and we have this new, crazy, neurotic puppy. One of the ways I’ve figured out is that I can get my workout in during my lunch hour at the gym in my building.

Striped shirt with black pleated skirt

striped-shirt-pleated-skirt-3Necklace – Express (same) | Shirt – LOFT (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Jessica Simpson via DSW (similar)

The gym isn’t included as one of our perks or anything, it just happens to be one of the gyms included in my Gymphoria membership. Works out well for me, right?

And, of course, on days I work out at lunch I need the fastest, easiest to throw on clothes. Which means that this outfit is pretty simple but gets the job done. Stripes, pleats leopard and pearls. Sounds good to me.

Especially after I kill myself in a kettlebell class. I took it last week and could barely walk for three days. Hurts so good.

Black pleated skirt outfit

Time for Blue

Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer · Style Imitating Art

First off, apologies for dropping off the face of the blog-land last week. As I’ve mentioned before, we are still trying to find a balance between work, life and puppy.

However, I was able to find some time this weekend to take some outfit photos ahead of time. I promise, I WILL be wearing everything you see this week. It’s just easier sometimes to take all the photos on the same day.

So, without further ado, here’s what I’m wearing today:

White lace tee with cobalt blue pants and nude heels

Top – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Pants – LOFT (similar) | Shoes – Bandolino (similar)

And why am I wearing this today? Two reasons. This first is that I’m doing my very first presentation at work and I wanted to be a bit more dressed up than usual.

The second is that this week’s Style Imitating Art chosen by 14 Shades of Grey involves white and blue.

“Portrait of Elisabeth Lederer” (1913) by Egon Schiele

So with my dark hair, my white top, and my blue pants, not to mention my red lipstick, I think I’m hitting this one right on the money.

Of course, it’s not always about recreating something exactly. Just like when you see a picture in a magazine that you love you don’t have to recreate it down to every detail. It should just inspire you to try something new!

Speaking of which, if anyone has any suggestions on how to fit in blogging, working, puppy-training and exercising with spending time with your SO and having a social life, I’m all ears! THAT I might imitate exactly!

White lace tee with cobalt blue pants and nude heels

Linking up with Fashionably Employed More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express