March Budget Update

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Well everyone, it's time for another budget update post! Can you believe it's already the end of March? Seriously, where is the time going? I said something about not believing it's already March 2015 the other day...and then totally realized it's actually March 2016. Oops...

Anyways, this month was interesting for my wardrobe. I ordered a bunch of stuff, some I'm still on the fence about (leaning towards returning) so I'm not including those pieces in this post. The items above I purchased this month and love, so they are 100% staying in my wardrobe. 

Old Navy Peplum Cami (in gingham) - $24.94, on sale for $18. I loved the simple look of this top for Spring and Summer. Plus it comes in tall sizes and I'm a sucker for anything blue and white. Since it was less than $20 I didn't really think twice about adding this to my arsenal of tank tops for the upcoming warmer months. My color, seen in this outfit post, is no longer available but they have a couple of cute options still in stock, and on sale for 50% off one item! 

Saint James Minquiers 10 T-Shirt - $70 (some sizes on sale here for $55). I've wanted one of these classic Brenton striped shirts for years. As I'm traveling back to France this year, and I essentially live in striped tops when I'm not at work I decided to bite the bullet and order one. I love it and I'm already contemplating what color to order next! Any suggestions? Side note, this top runs large. I am wearing a medium in this outfit post, but it fits like a large or extra-large. I like the relaxed fit, but if you want a more fitted look then I'd suggest going down a size or two. I normally order a large in tops, so I sized down one and still got a relaxed fit. 

Rag and Bone Heritage High-Waisted Skinny Jeans - $185 - These were a bit of a splurge, but a pair of Rag & Bone jeans have been on my wishlist for a long time. A lot of the inseams they offer are on the shorter side for premium denim, but these are a 31" inseam, which sits on the bottom of my ankle and make them the perfect Spring/Summer jeans to have in my wardrobe. They run a little small, so I opted to get a size 30, where I normally wear a size 29 in premium denim. The 30s fit nicely and they have a bit of stretch which makes them comfy, even to wear while commuting up to NYC or during a large dinner in Midtown. 

Jon Hart Backpack #907 - $146 - My friend Catharine told me about this Texas based company back in the summer when she decided to order a backpack for herself to take to and from work (backpacks are very common work bags in audit, and we were both working as auditors for the same firm at the time). I loved her bag, it's just so chic for a backpack and unique. While I like the design of the ever prominent Hershel bags (Alex actually has one, and it's very nice) I wanted something a little more unique if I was going to get a bag. Since I've been taking the Amtrak every Friday and Monday between NYC and Philly, and I have some vacations coming up this Spring/Summer I thought getting a backpack might prove to be pretty useful for my lifestyle needs. I wanted something cute that I would wear even when I was working back in Philly full-time. The Jon Hart bag is a splurge, but I love it. It's so well-made, cute, and functional. I got mine monogramed with my initials, which adds the extra perfect touch. I wish I had this bag in high school and college, it's just so cute and comes in all different colors! I highly recommend if you think you would get use out of having a backpack!

Tory Burch T-Logo Leather Sandals, sold out, similar here and here - $175, on sale for $99 - These were a bit of an impulse purchase I made when the Tory Burch sample sale happened two weeks ago. As they're final sale I can't return them, but they do fit nicely and I think I'll get a lot of use out of them over the warmer months. The gold will match a lot of things in my wardrobe and the logo on these is more understated, which I appreciate. 

Total Purchased: $600
Less Discounts Taken: $83
Total Spent: $517

Total Left for Q1 from February and January: $358
Total Overspent: $159

Amount to carry forward to Q2: $0

Well, I went a little over this month (I blame getting excited about the warm weather). I did get some awesome investment pieces which I'm really happy about. I'm definitely going to be lowering my spending in April, and I'm going to try and underspend in Q2 to try and cover this deficit. As I've been traveling a lot for work and thus getting a stipend for food during week, I've been spending a lot less on groceries and eating out, so I'm comfortable absorbing the extra clothing spending since I majorly underspent in a lot of other areas in my life the during Q1. With that said, I have some trips coming up so I want to save money for those, my trip to L.A. is in just four weeks! I still need something to wear to a beach wedding so I'll be on the hunt for that this month, and maybe some tan shoes for work and some new business casual pieces if I find a good sale. 

How did you do this month? 

Linking up with Fran

10 Pairs of Shoes You Need This Spring

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hey guys! Happy Wednesday! I hope your week is going well! Mine is going, slowly. I'm still fighting off this sickness, fingers crossed it's gone by the weekend because I'm supposed to go on a little trip to D.C. to visit some friends from Tulane. Anyways, I made a post this fall about 10 pairs of shoes that I think everyone needs in their closet to have a well rounded shoe wardrobe for the season. I was thinking about posts I should make for Spring, and I thought that I would make another similar post. Spring and Fall are really the seasons where the weather begins to change to be colder or warmer, and thus I think they're the seasons where our wardrobes change the most too. So, without further ado, here are the 10 Pairs of Shoes everyone should have in their wardrobe this Spring. 

ONE // A pair of neutral flat sandals. I have a pair of platinum Jack Rogers which are perfect to throw on with a breezy sundress, white jeans and chambray, or a midi-skirt.

TWO // Rainboots. This goes without say. Spring is a rainy season and therefore it's important to have a pair of waterproof shoes in your wardrobe to throw on for commuting to work, running errands, etc. I have a pair of the packable Hunter rainboots and I love them because they're foldable to put in my suitcase for weekend trips, I'm actually brining them down to D.C. this weekend as it's supposed to be fairly wet. I've seen some people rocking an ankle length rainboot for commuting into work and I'm thinking it might be nice to invest in a pair of those as well, especially as the weather keeps getting warmer.

THREE // Espadrilles. I love wearing espadrilles in the Spring and Summer. Not only are they comfortable, but they're totally in style and come in all different colors and patterns, at every price point. I'm eyeing up this adorable lace-up striped pair to add to my collection this Spring!

FOUR // The Spring Ankle Boot. If the ankle bootie is the quintessential fall shoe, then this warm weather version is the 2016 "it" shoe for Spring. These are perfect to throw on with ankle jeans or a cute dress for brunch or going out with friends. The best part is these can be worn right into Summer as they're breathable for your foot and will totally work with shorter dresses.

FIVE // Running Shoes. Now that it's Spring it means that Summer is right around the corner. With Summer many of us are working to get into that pair of shorts or that bathing suit that has been sitting in the back of our closet since September. Running shoes are essential to any Spring wardrobe so you can start getting your workout on and working on that Summer body.

SIX // Casual sneakers. A cute pair of slip-on sneakers is essential for your Spring wardrobe. These are perfect to slip on with jeans, dresses, skirts, etc. I wear my slip-on white sneakers pretty much every weekend when running errands or meeting up with friends. I suggest getting white as your first color and then expanding from there.

SEVEN // Peep toe wedges. These are the perfect work shoes for Spring. They are sophisticated, comfortable, and the peep toe can show off your new Spring pedicure. I suggest getting a neutral color like nude so you can pair them with lots of fun patterned skirts and dresses which are available right now at stores like Loft or J.Crew.

EIGHT // Perforated Flats. These flats are the perfect way to update your closet for the warmer weather. Now that the temperatures are rising you're going to want your outfits to breathe a little. The perforations are the perfect way to let your feet breathe a little, and add a little interest to your outfit. There are so many cute styles out there right now. I included navy in this round-up, because Navy is Black to me, but you could also get a pair in a cute pastel or white which would be adorable.

NINE // Wedge Sandals. These are perfect for wearing out on Spring/Summer nights, to special events, or to pack for your next vacation. A pair of neutral wedge sandals is a pivotal piece in any well-rounded wardrobe. I love all of Tory Burch's wedge designs, but there are plenty of other budget friendly options out there like these or these.

TEN // Block heel sandals. I'm a big fan of a block heel over a stiletto. Not only are they easier to walk in, but they are totally in style this year. I love this pair of shoes for work this Spring, or to pair with a dress for a Spring wedding, and since they're comfortable you could dance all night in them without needing a break.

Well, what do you think? What are some essential shoes in your Spring wardrobe? I hope you're having a great Wednesday!
Follow along with Laura on Bloglovin, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, & Twitter

Stripes & Skinny Jeans

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tory Burch Striped Espadrilles (last season, but love these and these for this year)

Happy Tuesday everyone! Oh my, what a month March has been. If you didn't see my post from last Friday, you can head over there now to read all about the little break I needed to take. It's been a really busy month, between projects being due at work, traveling between NYC and Philly, and getting sick it's just been crazy. I actually took a sick day from work yesterday and was home all day with a fever and horrible cough, just when I thought things were getting back on track! Sometimes it feels like you just can't win. Ever have some of those moments? 

Anyways, I did manage to shoot one outfit this weekend, even though I have a few more ready to go, I just need to shoot them for you! This outfit is basically my Spring uniform. A slouchy striped tee, dark wash skinny jeans, and easy espadrilles and I'm good to go. I finally invested in a pair of Rag & Bone Jeans after pining after them and seeing them on other people's blogs for years. I love them. They are on the pricier side, but the quality is so nice and they make my legs look so much better than their cheaper alternatives. 

I also decided to bite the bullet and order a Saint James striped t-shirt for Spring. Although $70 for a t-shirt might seem absurd, they are a classic piece that will never go out of style. The fit is very generous, I'm wearing a medium in these photos but it fits like a large or extra-large, which I really like. If you're looking for a more fitted top, I'd suggest sizing down two sizes. I'm already deciding what color I want to get next, I love this shirt that much!

Lastly, I wanted to feature my new Jon Hart Backpack. I picked this up for commuting on Amtrak between NYC and Philly on the weekends so I could have a cute back to throw my essentials into and avoid lugging a suitcase every week. This backpack is perfect, I love that you can customize the color choices and add a monogram to personalize it. It's great quality and came so quickly. If you want a backpack that doesn't look like something you might've carried in middle school then I highly recommend!

Hopefully things will start slowing down to normal so I can get out the posts I've been planning for you all! I hope you're having a great week and a happy Spring so far!

Linking up with I do DeClaire
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On Taking a Break

Friday, March 25, 2016

Hey, what's up...hello (1738). If you haven't forgotten me I just wanted to drop by and say hi. As you probably noticed I didn't post this week. Normally I like to post 4-5 times per week, not only to provide my readers with content to read and build my blog, but I honestly enjoy creating content to share with you all.

This week however, my heart just wasn't into it. It could be that work has been busy, I handed in a big project earlier this week which will relieve some pressure (hopefully) and it's looking like things might start slowing down again, but I'm still traveling to NYC during the weeks, which makes my time at home on the weekends precious. Also, as the weather warms up there's more and more social obligations to attend. I'm actually writing this after attending a networking event in Midtown tonight, which was a great time to get to meet some other young professionals in my industry. Earlier this week I had a team dinner at this amazing Korean BBQ place in Koreatown (Don's Bogam for those of you in NYC who are interested) and I grabbed dinner with my roommate from college earlier this week. All of this with a work schedule, and a pretty intense gym schedule (I'm still working on my March 2016 goals, progress report should be up on the blog next week along with my monthly wardrobe budget post). Not that I'm complaining, I just made the conscious decision to not post if I wasn't feeling inspired. 

And I feel like that's ok. It's so easy for bloggers to get caught up with checklists and quota in order to make sure their blog is successful, but I think the biggest way to become successful, what you need to do before you do anything else, is to make sure you enjoy your content. Make sure you're publishing something you'd want to read yourself. Because, if you don't care who else will? 

That being said, I'm starting to feel inspired again and I think this mini-break from blogging, and allowing myself to not post without feeling bad about it, allowed me to mentally and creatively recharge. I'm excited to create some content, interact with other bloggers, and jump back into the pool. 

I hope you guys stayed with me through that ramble, and I hope you're still reading and excited about what I have coming up soon (including a really awesome giveaway which you won't want to miss). I hope everyone's Friday is also amazing! Yay weekend!

Have you ever needed a break? Did you feel ok allowing yourself to take one? I'd love to hear what other bloggers have to say about this!

Follow along with Laura on Bloglovin, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, & Twitter

Tory Burch Private Sale Alert

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hey guys! Just dropping in really quick on this lovely St. Patrick's Day to share the news of the Tory Burch Private sale with you! It is running RIGHT NOW through March 21st! You can save up to 70% off plus free shipping on some great Tory Burch merchandise. I love a lot of Tory's designs, but honestly the prices are so high for a 20-something supporting myself that I can't justify owning too many of her pieces. Well, the sale is a good time to stock up on some things that normally you can't justify. I put together a little collage of my favorite picks from the sale, but things are going fast so I suggest going over to check out all the merchandise now and ordering quick to make sure you get what you want!

I have the York tote (as seen here) and it's perfect for work. There's a laptop sleeve in the center which makes transporting a computer so easy. I also am seriously loving that lightweight dress for Summer, and I already ordered those logo leather sandals, they're going to be so easy to slip on this Spring and Summer.

Are you having a good St. Patrick's Day? Will you be shopping the sale? If you do, let me know what you score in the comments section!

Follow along with Laura on Bloglovin, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, & Twitter

Happy Birthday Kalliope (+ Kalliope's Favorite Things)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Happy Wednesday! Today is my little crazy cat Kalliope's 2nd birthday. I thought it was only appropriate to honor her with her own birthday blog post. I wrote all about the process of adopting a cat in this post, and honestly I have to say it's one of the best things I've ever done. I love having Kalliope around to keep me company. She teaches Alex and I so much, whether it's about having patience (especially when she scratches something or chews on things) or being responsible for something other than ourselves. 

I thought today it'd be fun to share some of Kalliope's favorite things, whether you have a cat or know a cat lover, feel free to pass along these Kallipe approved recommendations!

Flik String Toy (takes AA batteries) // Rattle Mice // World's Best Cat Litter (actually THE BEST)

Kalliope loves everything above, especially her new Flik toy my parents got her for her birthday. Also, that cat litter is actually THE BEST. It's made of a corn base instead of clay so it's better for your cat and doesn't leave a dusty mess around the area where your litter box is, and it's safe to flush!

Do you have a cat, if so please share some of their favorites! Kalliope loves getting new toys! I hope you all have a great day!
Follow along with Laura on Bloglovin, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, & Twitter

Spring Wish List

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope your week is going well and hasn't been too wet! Now that we're officially in Daylight Savings time and the weather is warming up my mind is in full Spring mode, especially since this is the last official week of winter! With the changing of each season I always start to gather together little wish lists of my wardrobe wants for the new season. I thought today it'd be fun to share with you some items I'm currently coveting for Spring:

Rose Print Pleated Skirt (25% off) and also here

What's on your Spring wardrobe wish list? I hope you're having a great week!
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10 Ways I Stay Motivated to Work Out

Monday, March 14, 2016

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a nice weekend. It's a little dreary out today, but at least it's not cold! Now that Daylight Savings is here I feel like Spring is arriving and Winter is on the way out, and I am SO HAPPY. With the coming of warmer weather I imagine a lot of you, like myself, are looking to get into shape and start getting ready for shorts and bathing suit weather. I have about a month and a half until I'm headed to L.A. for a wedding, which means time is ticking before I need to be beach ready. I put into my March Goals that I am really focusing on my fitness this month, and while it's been hard because work has been crazy busy I'm not letting that become an excuse. So, I thought it'd be fun to share with you some things I use to stay motivated to work out, even when I really don't want to. 

ONE // Have an accountability buddy (accountabilla-buddy for any South Park fans). This is the number one thing that keeps me going. My co-worker Allie and I go to the gym together in NYC after work to do either cardio, yoga, or circuits. Having someone texting me that they'll meet me at the gym and knowing that they're expecting me really makes me so much more likely to follow through with actually going. On the weekends I've been dragging Alex with to work out. Just having someone that's expecting you and will hold you accountable for showing up will make it SO MUCH more likely that you'll go.

TWO // Join an online fitness community. Whether it's networking with other bloggers, joining an online forum, enlisting in internet fitness challenges, or tweeting about your progress and encouraging others having support of people all over the country helps me stay motivated. I love reading other blogger's fitness posts and seeing their amazing progress helps convince me I can do it as well. Also, if you are posting online about your progress and people are encouraging you it adds another level of motivation because you don't want to let your followers down, especially when everyone is rooting for you!

THREE // Put together or find a great playlist. Sometimes when I'm having trouble getting up my energy to get through or begin a tough workout I just put on some pump-up jams and let the music motivate me. Spotify has some great playlists, I really like 'Hit the Gym Hard' and "Hip-Hop Workout' mixes. I also enjoy listening to movie soundtracks of sports movies when I'm working out because they tend to have some really inspirational jams. 

FOUR // Follow my favorite fitness gurus and inspirational figures on Twitter and Instagram. I follow a couple of fitness ladies on Instagram and not only do their posts inspire me, but I love reading the comments on the posts and clicking through to see their followers' pages. There's so much motivation, support, and inspiration out there. Of course, comparing yourself to a fitness model in not realistic, but the positive energy of these posts really inspire me. I like Kayla Itsines, Emily Skye, Natalie Jill, Robin Arzon, Nike Women, and Soul Cycle

FIVE // Write down your goals. I start by writing down my bigger, long term goals; for example running a half marathon, getting to your goal weight, holding a plank for three minutes, and swimming a 100 meter freestyle only 5 seconds slower than your high school race time. Then I work back and think about mini-goals I can set for shorter periods of time to work towards my big goals. Going to the gym six days a week, losing 5 lbs in a month, eating clean 80% of the time, getting 10k steps a day, etc. All of these smaller goals I can reach quicker than my big goals and keep me on track so I don't lose focus. As I keep hitting my mini-goals I am working towards my larger goals in strides. Climbing a mountain is done one step at a time. You can see my March Goals right here, and I will be continuing with fitness posts to keep you up to date on my fitness progress and goals. 

SIX // Reward yourself for your hard work. Ok, so I fully admit one of the toughest aspects of getting fit for me is eating healthy. My diet is by no means horrible, but it's far from perfect. I fully adhere to the 80-20 rule in my everyday life. Basically, if you're not familiar with this concept it's that you will eat clean about 80% of the time and then allow yourself to splurge about 20% of the time. Sometimes if I really do not want to go workout I'll set a reward for myself when I've completed the task. Whether it's some cheese as a snack, getting a manicure, or having a scoop of ice cream just having that reward in mind while I drag my feet to the gym gets me through. Currently I've been obsessed with the Pho from V Cafe in NYC and I will only allow myself to order a bowl if I've completed my workout for the day. 

SEVEN // Make working out part of your work day. Treat going to the gym as part of your daily work routine. Instead of the gym being an optional portion of the day, treat it like a meeting you cannot miss. Even add it to your work and personal calendars as an appointment. If you go to the gym before/after work bring all your things and don't go home before or after completing your workout. This way your gym time is just part of the day you're away from the house and when you arrive home you can begin your relaxation time.

EIGHT // Get cute work out clothes. Sometimes getting motivated is as simple as being excited to wear your cute new running tights. Luckily athleisure is a huge trend and there are thousands of options for super cute workout clothes. I am so much more likely to go to the gym if I can wear my cute new workout pants and top rather than old yoga pants and a college t-shirt. I'm currently lusting after these yoga pants, this zip-up, and this sports bra.

NINE // Invest in a fitness tracker and actually wear it. I have a Fitbit and it totally motivates me to move more and holds me accountable. Working in an office you sometimes don't realize how little you move during the day until it's right there on your app. Now that I have a FitBit I can see exactly how much I've moved and I get inspired to get my step count up after work. Additionally I participate in challenges like "Workweek Hustle" and "Weekend Warrior" with my friends. The app will send me notifications when one of my friends jumps ahead of me or reaches their step goal for the day. This inspires me to get moving. If you're competitive I recommend this to help motivate yourself as well!

TEN // Track your progress and set calendar reminders to make progress updates. I take my weight once per week at the gym and take progress photos every four weeks. I set a reminder in my iPhone calendar to take these measurements and set a reminder for a few days before and then a day before. Even though no one sees these progress updates except myself it makes me want to work hard to show progress for myself. Whatever measuring stick you'd like to use to track your progress, whether it's timing your mile run, trying on a pair of jeans you'd like to fit into, or taking a fitness challenge I recommend setting reminders in your phone so you can stay on track and keep yourself focused. I use my FitBit app to track my weight, and I recommend using something like this if you're going to take weight measurements so you can see your progress on a graph, it's very inspiring!

Are you trying to get fit? I'd love to hear some of your motivation tips, I can always use more motivation! Have a great (and healthy) day!

Linking up with Her Heartland Soul and B Loved Boston

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Monday Motivation + Links

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was nice and relaxing, even if it flew by. I feel like losing an hour yesterday for Daylight Savings made the weekend feel about 50% shorter. Anyways, let the countdown to Friday begin!

I thought it would be fun today to share some links, with a motivational theme for Monday, kind of similar to the links I normally do on Fridays for Monday. I hope you enjoy!

 ONE // Star of Viral Meme 'Damn Daniel' donates lifetime supply of Vans to hospital

TWO // 

Luck of the Irish

Friday, March 11, 2016

Outfit: High-Rise Jeggings // Green Silk Shirt (similar 1, similar 2, similar 3)  
Smoking Slippers (similar)

Hi everyone! It has been a long week. I had a big deadline at work this week and my team and I have been pulling some long hours this week. Unfortunately something had to give and this time, it was the blog. I'm happy to say I have kept up with my workout routine this week, even if it meant a few nights being the last person in the gym (I wish I was one of those people that could work out before work regularly). 

Anyways, I meant to share this outfit earlier this week but I figured I'd post it for Friday! I love this green silk button down top, especially paired with my high-rise jeggings to make the look more casual. I love pairing green and blue together, and especially around St. Patrick's Day. I thought this would be a fun outfit idea to wear for a casual office environment on St. Patty's Day, and if your office doesn't allow jeans you could easily pair a green silk top with a fun navy skirt or pixie pants

How was your week? Will you be wearing anything festive for St. Patrick's Day? I hope you all have a great Friday! 
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Blue and White for Spring

Monday, March 7, 2016

Happy Monday everyone! I feel like the weekends go by way too fast these days. Maybe it's the travel during the week, but I feel like I get so little time at home every week and it's always gone too fast. Anyways, I had a pretty relaxing weekend filled mostly with TV, a mid-afternoon mini-pub crawl on Saturday, and some gym time to keep up with my March Goals

I wanted to bring a fun spring outfit post to the blog today, especially since it's supposed to be warm this week, the forecast says 70 degrees on Wednesday! I just got a new pair of white jeans for spring/summer and I decided to pair them with this fun peplum Old Navy tank top, which is on sale for under $20! It's the perfect breezy piece which looks great with jeans alone, or under a light jacket. Side note, these jeans are "stay white" which means they should resist stains and stay clean longer than your average denim. For under $50, they're the perfect piece to freshen up your wardrobe and prepare for Spring. 

Have you added any new Spring pieces to your wardrobe lately? What did you do this weekend? I hope you all have a great start to the week!
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