Thursday, August 29, 2013

August Budget

By comparison to other months, August seemed so long. I did well on my budget this month but the J Crew Factory sale is calling my name... I might have to get this sweatshirt because I missed it last year and I kicked myself a few times.


Yellow Owl Workshop bee pendant - 25.46
J Crew Factory Houndstooth sweatshirt - ~30
Marais USA sandals - 50.96
Kate Spade iPhone cover - 15.30
J Crew Factory dot skirt - ~60

*Not pictured because I'm not sure if they fit okay - Anthropologie Piped Sabattical Loafers - 39.99

Total: 221.71

Phew. Under my monthly budget. I did sell a small purse for 75 so that helps. The skirt was a hefty price but I figure it's a piece that I will get a lot of use out of and it can be dressed up or down. I had been wanting a pair of strappy sandals with a bit of a wedge for ages. I had seen the above ones earlier this year in a storefront window but waited until the price was dropped - and I scored them with my Anthro birthday rewards. The iPhone case was a fun pick-me-up and still for some reason shows full price on their website but in store it was marked down. And I love the print - it makes me happy.

So.. how did you do this month?

Linking up with Fran!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

29 before 29 recap & 30 before 30

With Friday marking my birthday I thought I'd do a recap of my 29 before 29. And oh god... 30 before 30? My last year of my twenties... ack!
  1.  Spend less, shop my closet more.
  2.  Read a minimum of 30 books.
    1.  Take more photos. Thank you, Instagram.
    2. Dedicate more time and effort to the blog.
    3. Make homemade pasta and sauce.
    4.  Go to a new city where I haven't been before. Hello Munich, Ischia, Naples, and Bergamo.
    5.  Volunteer for more shifts at the holiday window display for the SF SPCA. 
    6. Less time inside, more time outside.
    7. Join a sports team/bowling league/sign up for ice skating lessons.
    8. Bike across the golden gate bridge.
    9. Take a how to make a terraneum class with my mom.
    10. Take a photo every day for 30 straight days.
    11. Go to the symphony with DH.
    12. Learn to fix/sew a button.
    13. Try a new beer once a month.
    14. Go fruit/pumpkin picking.
    15. Hike Angel Island.
    16. Get as close as I can to the city where my grandpa was born in Italy. See that little town Carraia? Yup.
    17. Bake at least once a month with the new kitchen aid mixer.
    18. Go gokarting with my family.
    19. Define my style better.
    20. Visit the Italian American museum in the presidio.
    21. Organize and play a bocce ball day.
    22. Be nicer to my cuticles (so I can finally have nice manicures...)
    23. Take a spontaneous drive.
    24. Make a new friend.
    25. Make a stranger's day
    26. Clean and reorganize my wardrobe AND keep it up (for longer than a week).
    27. Exercise more and eat better.
    So since I clearly didn't get a chance to do them all... I will add them to my 30 before 30.
    1. Dedicate more time and effort to the blog
    2. Make homemade pasta and sauce
    3. Join a sports team/bowling league/ice skating lessons
    4. Bike across the golden gate bridge
    5. Go to the symphony with DH
    6. Go fruit/pumpkin picking
    7. Hike Angel Island
    8. Bake at least once a month with my kitchenaid mixer
    9. Visit the Italian American Museum 
    10. Organize and play a bocce day
    11. Be nicer to my cuticles
    12. Clean my wardrobe
    13. Exercise more and eat better
    14. Visit at least one new US city
    15. Read a minimum of 40 new books
    16. Take and pass the PHR
    17. Push myself harder at work
    18. Strip down the wardrobe
    19. Be better with impulse purchases
    20. Visit another National Park (that I haven't been to already...)
    21. Perfect my pie making abilities
    22. Have a dinner party
    23. Visit another California coast lighthouse
    24. Cook dinner at home at least twice a week
    25. Get a few steps closer to buying our own place
    26. Do something that really pushes my boundaries/limits
    27. Finish my online course early (prior to November 20..)
    28. Work on being a better wife
    29. Do something spontaneous
    30. Be okay with turning 30.

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    Rediscovering my closet

    It appears (and feels) that summer has finally made its way to San Francisco. Fog has given way to warm days, gorgeous sunsets, and sadly balmy weather that I'm not that used to. I'm not complaining and wishing I could stop time a bit and enjoy the sunshine more.

    This past weekend I decided to take every item out of my cedar chest and re-evaluate it. And I've discovered the following:
    1) I clearly have an addiction to sweaters, and
    2) I have a lot of items that I've forgotten I've even had.

    I think that part of this is due to the fact that space is at an all time premium in our apartment - since my cedar chest stays closed to keep a certain furry female out of it it's very hard for me to search for items in my mad dash in the mornings. But after going through my clothes one thing has been made very clear - I don't need any more clothes any time soon. Sure, I might need a pair of black jeans or to replace a cardigan with holes, but other than that... I really have no excuse or reason to purchase anything new.

    Take for instance this awesome sweater I discovered. Stripes. I love stripes. And black and white can be paired with just about anything. Like a blue blouse and my J Crew wanna be necklace. Pardon the bad lighting, but I'm hoping to get my camera up and going some point soon.

    Has there been anything that you've recently rediscovered in your closet and are excited to have found?

    Button down: H&M (similar here)
    Striped sweater: J Crew tippi in linen (similar here)
    Skirt: Gary Graham, gift
    Necklace: GroopDealz
    Shoes: J Crew cece ballet flats (new colors here)

    Sunday, August 11, 2013

    First wedding anniversary

    One year ago today, at about this time, I was getting ready to walk down the aisle with my dad. I can't believe that a year has already gone by - a true testament to time flies when you are having fun. I'm truly lucky because I can honestly say that I married my best friend. David makes me want to be a better person and I'm honored that he picked me to be his wife. I'm excited to see what year two brings us and how we continue to grow as a better couple together.

    So this weekend he surprised me with an overnight stay in wine country to celebrate our one year in style. We stayed at the Harvest Inn which we both cannot wait to return to. Honestly - the service, the grounds, everything was out of this world. They sent us a whole bottle of champagne, and for our dinner reservations told the restaurant we were celebrating and even the restaurant got us a card. I mean... I think I've found my happy place.
    The beautiful room at the inn
    Vineyards outside our bedroom window
    One of the many fountains on site

    View from Domaine Chandon
    We dined on wagyu steak and chocolate cake at Press, which was one of the best meals of my life. The crab and lobster cake with avocado reduction was amazing. And the wine! We got to sit near the outdoor fire and watched the sun set and moon come up.

    We hit the pool late (it stays open 24 hours!) and we even saw some meteors during the Perseid meteor shower.

    Today we grabbed macarons at Bouchon and stopped at Domaine Carneros for wine before heading back to the city.

    The Bouchon Bakery!
    I had an amazing time.. so much so I really didn't want to come home. But if you are in the Napa wine region here's some of our recommendations.

    To stay:


    The bbq at V Sattui

    Until next year! :)

    Thursday, August 1, 2013

    Birthday wishist

    Hello August and goodbye July! Although we did get to travel in July and DH got good news I'm not sad to see you go. So bye! ;)

    With August comes my birthday (ew) and our first wedding anniversary. Here's some items that I wouldn't mind getting for either of those occasions.. hint hint!

    Birthday wishist

    Tory Burch Robinson bag - What can I say, I love handbags. I previously had one of the robinson bags which was great... except it was before they all came with a cross body strap. Boo to that. It's a great alternative to the Prada bags which are more than triple the price of the TB one. 

    J Crew double tassel necklace - I really like the idea of a tassel necklace, and this one has two. I like the length on it and could see it easily paired with business casual outfits and also for days when I need to dress up.

    Lowercase cursive initial necklace - I have been lusting over this for a few months. I really really like it.. and not sure if I can hold out for my birthday and might end up getting it for myself. And it also comes in gold and rose gold, too!

    J Crew Factory anchor sweater - I love anchors. And sweaters. Match made in heaven.. and 40% off!

    Dotted monogram journal - It's no secret that I have a love affair with office products... journals and pens in particular. I adore the dots on this and the monogramming makes it so much more personal.

    So... expensive.. yes. But that's why its a wish list!

    Do you have any items on a wish list for an upcoming event or for the new month? I'd love to hear it!
    designed with love by beautiful dawn designs