Monday, December 30, 2013

A look back & looking ahead

An ode to 2013...

I set a few goals for myself and achieved them - I blogged every day in May. I also took two HR classes and passed with A's.

I have become more in tune with my sense of style. J Crew, I'm looking at you kid. I'm trying to embrace my curves more and appreciate them instead of drastically wishing I was somehow different. I can't get enough of plaid, flannel, skinny jeans, and the "statement necklace".

We travelled to New York, Utah, Oregon, and the Carolinas. We hiked up a river, went alpine sledding, and went for bike rides on beaches. I got to visit London and Paris again and flew transatlantic by myself for the very first time.

I'm still trying to figure a few things out, mainly how to become a better cook and how to blog better and more efficiently, as well as that whole 40 hour a week thing.

For 2014 I'm currently in the process of tearing apart my entire wardrobe and wanting to really cut back on my spending. I'm hoping that a wardrobe purge will help me realize I have just about everything I need and should only buy when I need to replace an item that wears out, not just because I feel as though I have nothing to wear.

And some goals..

A bad habit I'm going to break: Biting/tearing at my cuticles.
A new skill I'd like to learn: Ice skating!
A person I hope to be more like: My husband. His drive at work is incredible - I admire him.
A good deed I'm going to do: Pick a charity and donate/volunteer at it (this will change yearly on my selected charity).
A place I'd like to visit: Yosemite.
A book I'd like to read: A Tale of Two Cities.
A letter I'm going to write: To my dad.
A new food I'd like to try: I've never had sea urchin.
I'm going to do better at: Being a wife, being a patient, kind person, less consumerism, and a better blogger.

And here's to you - happy almost 2014!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


No matter where you are, what you celebrate or how you do it, wishing you and yours Peace from mine. :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Southern Thanksgiving

North and South Carolina are both gorgeous places and over Thanksgiving break I was able to see both states for the first time. We started in Asheville to visit my SIL and then drove to Kiawah Island to join the rest of the family there. Along the way we ate a lot of biscuits, bacon, and drank local beer.

We stayed at the Aloft in Asheville which was a great location downtown and within walking distance to restaurants and breweries. The hotel staff is very friendly, and they have an awesome outdoor area and the bar staff are friendly too.

Kiawah Island is unlike any other beach that I'd been to before. We spent time riding bikes on the beach, curled up reading books near the fire, and trying to avoid alligator warning signs (no joke!) There were so many starfish and seashells and the sand there is so different. And it was interesting to see the sun go down from another direction. Regardless, I had a blast and came home needing a biscuit recipe as well as a porch with a rocking chair.

Rocking chairs in Asheville airport
Chicken & Biscuits sandwich at Biscuit Head
Grits, bacon, and peas at Tupelo Honey Cafe
Icicles on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Mountains
Gazebo on Kiawah Island
Staircase at The Sanctuary
Starfish on Kiawah beach
Sunset from the sand dunes
Boardwalk leading to the beach
Magnolia Cemetery - Charleston
View from the Ryder Cup bar
Angel Oak

Eat/Drink - Asheville:
Asheville Brewing Co
Tupelo Honey Cafe - biscuits. grits. bacon. go.
Biscuit Head - by far one of the most amazing meals on the whole trip.
Barleys Taproom & Pizza  - awesome live music and pizza
Double D's Coffee & Desserts - a double decker bus with awesome people watching views.
Old Europe Pastries - one of the best shortbread cookies I've ever had
Pack's Tavern - great place to watch Sunday football
Storm Rhum Bar - rum drinks abound
LAB - amazing pork belly and goat cheese brussel sprouts

Eat/drink/stay Kiawah Island:
Ryder Cup Bar - amazing place to watch a sunset.
The Sanctuary Hotel - amazing luxury hotel right on the beach.
Angel Oak - 300-400 year old Oak tree - just stunning (and free!)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Freezing in fair isle

Arctic blast seems to be the term of the week as SF bundles up for the first cold front of the year. Me? I'm not really complaining as it's an excuse to wear fleece lined boots to work and get the most use out of my blanket scarf.

The sweater below is the J Crew critter fair isle sweater from last year. I was drawn to it because of the cats (not gonna lie). But the colors are also lovely, and it's definitely keeping me warm today.

Some other fair isle sweaters I have my eye on - chime in with your favorites below!

Outfit details:
Fair isle sweater: J Crew (similar here)
Boots: Ugg (similar here, love the detailing)
Jeans: Banana Republic (similar here)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

November Spending Recap

Okay ladies, not gonna lie. I went way over this month (although I had some help). I definitely succumbed to pre-holiday sales but I feel good going into the holiday season (I probably shouldn't say that though... darn you J Crew sale..).
November List

From top left:
J Crew dots over stripes shirt, 22.99
J Crew factory grey plaid shirt, 33.20
J Crew factory colorblock baseball tee, 21.60
Target merona leopard print sweater, 24.99
J Crew factory plaid shirt, 33.90
J Crew funny birds t shirt, 22.99
Sperry topsider loafers, 56
Enzo Angiolini boots, 149.99

Not pictured:
Gap buffalo check scarf in red, 12.99 on sale
J Crew factory marled knit socks, 6.80 x2 (what can I say, I love socks...)
Hunter Wellies (half as gift), 70.99

+ 125 focus group + 80 rollover money (reno) + 70 rollover money (disneyland) = 178.24. Eeeeesh.

So, I'm going to be more mindful of the things that I purchase in December. And hopefully by clearing out my closet a bit more I can help to recoup some funds. And yeah, there's always some Christmas money.

Alright, I spilled - how did you do this month? Linking up with Fran!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


It's almost midnight here in South Carolina and after a long but happy and warm day with family here on the east coast I've been reflecting a bit on the word that I threw out at our annual Thanksgiving dinner ritual of saying what we are thankful for.

I'm first and foremost extremely grateful for my husband, who is not only incredibly supportive but has pushing me to stop and think about things differently. I have been trying to change one aspect of my life and have been looking for the right time, the right opportunity to do so. While it hasn't happen yet, it doesn't mean it's not out there.

My parents are amazing. They have also been very supportive of my recent endeavors and have been telling me that no matter what they are proud of me.

I am extremely grateful for all the things that I have in my life - my family, my pets, the fact that I have a job, that I live in an amazing city and have been able to travel to some fantastic places this year. 

And, looking forward, I am extremely thankful for the opportunities that may arise in the near future.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Linking up with Rouge & Whimsy

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Recent Factory J Crew/Finds

For some reason, J Crew Factory has really hit it out of the park recently on items that I've wanted in the past but never had a chance to get (so, while my wallet begs you to stop, I'm interested to see what will be in the next roll out).

I took advantage of the last 40% off promo as well as the 20% off 3 or more items to get the following:

Factory classic button down in suckered plaid - item 41430. I took my normal M. I believe I missed out on this in normal J Crew stores last year so happy to find it at Factory.
Factory plaid flannel in grey - item 30519. Another retail gone factory. Again, size M. Also I'm totally on a plaid/flannel kick as of late.
Factory colorblock linen baseball tee, size M. While this is backordered until what feels like Christmas I'll eagerly be awaiting its arrival.
In stores marked down to 34.99 - 40% - the funny birds tee. I had to size down in this one to a S as I feel as though it ran huge on me. It has birds. And they are funny. I loved this when I first saw it but was turned off by the price. At 20 and some cents, I'm much more okay with that. What more can I say?
And one more marked down to about 20 and some change - the dots over stripes tee. Another that I took in a S. This still shows as full price on the website, but was marked down like the birds tee to 34.99.

So that's about it. Have you gotten any great buys from the sales recently?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Life Lately

Counting down to a week off of work is often one my favorite things to do. For Thanksgiving this year DH and I are going to the Carolina's to visit family, and leave the Saturday before Thanksgiving for a full week off. I'm excited as I've never been there and would love to get my fill of Southern comfort food (although I worry about my waistline... oof). And hopefully there will be some pretty colored leaves still waiting on tree branches by the time we get there.So if anyone is in the Asheville area of NC I'd love some food/sight seeing/must do recommendations!

I've also been reflecting on a certain aspect of my life that tends to take up 40 hours a week. And reflecting upon how I could/should exercise more, but I guess around this time of year I tend to want to hibernate. And I'm sure that donut I had Sunday night didn't do me any favors.

The Nordstrom semi annual sale has been giving me a run for my money. I bought a pair of boots, but then tried these on and now have no idea which ones to keep. There's part of me that would love to start my wardrobe over but money and space prevent me from doing that. And then if I won the lottery, there's these. And don't even get me started on plaid/flannel - I pretty much want to live in it.

So - I hope for more interesting items soon. What has caught your eye recently?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

October buys

Here's where my money went this month...
October buys
J Crew drape front sweatshirt: 23.99
J Crew peter pan collared blouse: 29.99
J Crew Number 2 Pencil Skirt: 59.99
J Crew Polka dot baseball tee: 14.99
Minnetonka thunderbird II mocs: 39.99
J Crew Cubist Houndstooth Scarf: 24.99
Not pictured: 
Ralph Lauren Factory button down: 29.00
J Crew Lace front sweatshirt: 35.00

How did you do this month? Linking up with Fran!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Plaid on Wednesdays

As October is winding down wind gusts and falling leaves are picking up here in the bay area. Today I decided to do a bit of layering and reached for my plaid blazer for the first time this season. And with Halloween being tomorrow I'm scrambling to find some sort of costume. I think I have one in mind - and a coworker suggested another great one. But I'll see if I can put the pieces together fast enough to make it work.

Lately I have been increasingly busy and find myself wanting nothing more than a retreat for a few days in a cabin in the woods, a fireplace, and my books. I'm not sure if its due to the weather, or just having been away for the past 2 weekends in a row, or just things going on in life, but sometimes I feel as though I forget to take care of myself. Shopping aside, I think I need some time to recharge my batteries. If Tahoe had snow, I'd be halfway there.

Any low cost suggestions, aside from coffee and cheap books to work  on this?

Outfit details:
White button down: Polo Outlet, similar
J Crew factory charley sweater: exact
J Crew Plaid blazer: similar
Jeans: Gap, similar
Loafers: Bass Weejuns, exact

Linking up with Tucker Up for WIWW

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

J Crew Reviews: Floral T & Stripe Necklace Tee

Part of the best thing about ordering items online are getting packages in the mail. I feel as though receiving things via snail mail is a bit outside the norm these days, so I'm always thrilled when a box comes to my desk with my name on it (even if I did have to order it myself).

With the last 40% off sale promo I finally picked up the stripe necklace tee. I took my normal size M. I adore this. It pairs well under a blazer and with jeans, or it can be dressed up with a pencil skirt. I'm glad I jumped on it when I did - online is showing sold out of most sizes but I would try in store. I would consider getting this top in another color way I really like it that much!

The vintage cotton floral tee is another item I'd consider in its alternate color way as well. I almost bought both, but I decided not to. And now I shall kick myself. The top is so soft, and the flowers give it a dainty feel. Again, I took my size M in this. And if I find the cream version, it shall be mine too.

Something else I ordered awhile ago also came in the mail this week and its definitely becoming my new favorite necklace - my monogram initials in silver. I purchased it from groopdealz and have seen it pop back a few times but here's a photo of mine below.

Is there anything that's come in the mail recently that you've come to love?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Currently Craving

It's Sunday night, there's a chill in the air, and before I go to bed with a book here's what I'm currently lusting after.
These Zara loafers are pretty. And burgundy. And even though I need another pair of shoes like a hole in my head, I still might have to try them.
Its a bunny. On a top. An adorable bunny whose nose looks like a heart. Need I say more? Anthro, you make my animal lover heart go pitter patter.
I love this Madewell necklace. The only problem? Deciding which color to get. I think it would look great layered with a chunky sweater or plaid top.
And speaking of plaid, this Orvis plaid shirt has polka dots hiding on the inside. Totally smitten over this for our adventures to the Carolinas for Thanksgiving.

Is there anything that has caught your eye lately? Share below!
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