Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Currently: November

November, how quickly you've come! I can't believe I've been at my job for almost 9 months now and the end of year is in sight. 

reading -  nothing! I need a new book to read, so I might finally pick up Game of Thrones.

wishlisting - an orange bag. I really want  the Mark and Graham Elisabetta handbag that I featured in my October wishlist post, but I've also decided to do a No Spend November to try and curb some of my consumerism. Perhaps if I've managed to go the entire month without spending any money on clothes/shoes/accessories then I'll think about buying it. Also, wishlisting this pair of leopard print loafers from Lands End (that are currently 25% off..ugh!). But again.. sticking to No Spend November!

loving - scarves. plaid. cooler nights. I think I'd even be happy if the temperature dropped another 7-10 degrees so I could really get out some autumn gear.

appreciating - my boss. it's amazing to be at an organization with individuals and a boss who wants to mentor me.

creating - attempting to create a better appreciation for the things that I have instead of what I don't.

And that's it for November so far. Linking up with Anne In Residence. What has your month looked like so far?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October Spending Recap

Also known as that month I spent a bit of money. And got some awesome shoes.

I cleaned out some of my wardrobe earlier this month and have been on a listing frenzy to clear stuff out. As cooler weather is approaching I'm also much in need of better work pants (skinny pants that aren't ankle length seem to be hard to find..).

October 2014

Old navy Rockstar skinnies in maroon & grey, $24.50 each
J Crew Factory wool pencil skirt: $54.00
Target boots, $24.95
Tory Burch revas, $165.00
Kate Spade Jimi flats, $180.60
Target Emma leather ballet flats: $19.99

Not pictured: 
Old Navy polka dot blouse, $7.50
Gap ankle length navy pants: $20.00
J Crew double knit long cardigan: $55.00 (a little pricey, but I love it and the burgundy color).
Mindy Mae's Market striped sweatshirt: $21.95

Ebay sales: $100.00, tradesy sales: $395.00

Total: $103.03

I had some misses with some work pants - I tried the J Crew dannie pant but found they run small so those went back. So did a pair of Target pants. 

And I'm not going to lie, I'm still undecided on the above Kate Spade cat shoes. Are they too kitchy for me? Will I actually wear them? And they are expensive, too.

Holes in my closet? I'd really love a pair of leopard print loafers. Other than that... I'm super content for now. And banning myself from purchasing any clothes in November/December.

As always, linking up with Fran. How did you do this month?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October crush list

With the seasons changing and rich hues starting to become the norm again here's a few items on my list that I've been lusting after.

Handbag: Elisabetta Slouch Handbag at Marks & Graham (free monogramming, too!). I've been wanting a brightly colored handbag and this seems to fit the trick. Plus.. made in Italy and the ability to have my initials? Yes please.
Boots: Kasia via Target. These Frye lookalikes at more than half the price might make me order them to see if they fit any differently than the $300 version.
Leopard flats: Vivian Calf Hair flats from Land's End. Because everyone needs a good pair of leopard print flats. I have these in black and they are one of my most comfortable pairs of shoes.
Gold stacking ring: Threadbare yellow gold ring, Catbird NYC. I've recently become into the idea of stacking rings, and this gorgeous gold one fits the bill.

What are some things that you've had your eye on?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Art from the DeYoung in San Francisco
smelling: Heat wave! Does summer have a smell? Well.. it smells warm out. Also, I have a pack of bubblegum on my desk so occasionally I get a smell of sweet bubblegum.

loving: The ability that I can make choices for myself. I've been thinking a lot lately about certain things and how I do have the ability to change them if I don't like it. It's hard to think about but I'm incredibly lucky that I have the option to do so.

planning: Our trip to NY for Thanksgiving and hopefully getting to see some old coworkers in there too. 

baking: Does my morning instant oatmeal count? otherwise, nothing. my poor kitchenaid is so lonely.

celebrating: This weekend, a friend's wedding. Next week will be a friend's engagement party, and the weekend after that another good friend's birthday. I'm also celebrating the warm weather we're having with summer-like outfits and lots of open windows.

Hello October - here's to you! What are you smelling/loving/planning/baking/celebrating this month?

Linking up with Anne at In Residence!

Friday, September 26, 2014

September Budget Recap

September is almost over and it's time for budget bloggers with Fran! Here's how I did below:

September 2014

From top left:
Old Navy plaid: $20.00
J Crew Cardigan: $44.00
J Crew marled popover: $42.00
Mindy Mae's Market Striped sweater: $26.99
Catbird cat pack ring: $27.80

Not pictured:
H&M pullover: $19.99
J Crew v neck: $12.00
Lariat necklace from a local jeweler: $15.00

Total: $177.78. So... not bad, but not great either. I did sell a pair of shoes for 50.00 through tradsey, so that helps. The J Crew cardigan is to replace my much loved orange cardigan that got ruined in the wash, and I'm super excited to have an olive green sweater. 

As for what I need... really, honestly, nothing. I do want to go through my wardrobe and see what I can purge. As for shoes, I think I can let go of a lot of pairs to slim down what I have, but also build a good shoe wardrobe of classic, everyday pairs that can go with any outfit. Thanks to Katie, I'm also thinking of evaluating my skirt situation as some of them are ill fitting. Also, the one thing missing from my wardrobe seems to be a grey blazer.

How did you do this month?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

42 Hours in Boise

This past weekend Dh and I took a quick 80 minute flight up to Boise to see my cousin play college football against BSU. In addition to visiting another new state, we had the pleasure of meeting some of the nicest people EVER. I swear, Idaho, no idea how you do it but your people are so warm and kind.

Boise is a lovely city with a vibrant Basque scene as well as multiple breweries (hurrah for craft beer!). And you can't forget about Idaho potatoes.. just delicious. We had a great time walking the city - because Boise is fairly flat it's easy to walk around to and from attractions (no need for taxis, either!). We had a great time at the Boise State tailgate, made some friends and went to a space bar, and I tried a bison burger for the first time (and I liked it).

Until next time Boise.... thank you!
Sour beer at Bittercreek
Stuffed beignets at the farmers market
Inside the Capital building
Boise State Helmet on a golf cart..
Boise Depot
Albertson's Stadium, aka Smurf Turf at BSU
All the way from UL!
Bison burger + Laura fries at Boise Fry Co
Awesome street art
Crossing the Snake River
If you go...

Boise Fry Company - pick your potato and fry type, and then prepare to mix sauces and salts to a come up with your own french fry creation. Also, try the bison burger. Yum.
Boise Taphouse - huge beer selection and tv's galore for football Sunday.
The Basque Market - an awesome basque tapas bar with crazy good croquettes and meatballs. Definitely don't forget the chocolate pudding for dessert.
Bittercreek Ale House - fantastic late night happy hour, and the poutine is out of this world.

To do:
Space bar - get your retro game on with pinball, 80's arcade games, and super nintendo while sipping local beer at this awesome spot.
Idaho Capital Building - a gorgeous capital building open on weekends with lots of history about Idaho and it's counties. Plus, the dome inside is absolutely gorgeous.
Albertson's stadium at Boise State - Smurf turf. Enough said.
Basque Block - Basque culture in Boise condensed into a block of it's own.
Boise Depot - What remains of Boise's train depot, along with a beautiful garden and ponds overlooking the city.
Capital City Public Market - An outdoor market with one requirement - everything has to be made in Idaho (try the BuckSnort root beer and look for some huckleberry goats milk soap!)

Hotel 43 - lovely boutique hotel within the heart of downtown, and a complimentary airport shuttle with 1PM checkout.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Cat's Meow

This fall season seems to be shaping up for all things cats, and well, I'm not complaining. I think ever since Charlotte Olympia came out with her Kitty flats everyone has been flocking to do something similar, but at a smaller price tag (although there is a part of me that secretly really wants the Charlotte Olympia flats, but 495...eeep!). I recently picked up this adorable Catbird ring with some birthday money but upon seeing some new releases lately I noticed a bit of a cat trend.

So if you'd like to jump onto the kitty bandwagon come join me.. and here's a few of my favorite items to keep you fashionable throughout your nine lives.

The Cat's Meow

I'm seriously contemplating the Kate Spade cat flats... I think they are adorable! Okay, why lie, I want it all.

Are there any new trends or items that you've been loving lately? Will you be purchasing any cat items? If so, share below!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

On turning 30

It's a little odd to say that I'm 30. For a very long time I was apprehensive and scared of this new age. 30 sounds so different than 29. But... for the first time in awhile I feel as though I'm going into this fully comfortable.

The twenties have been interesting - I graduated college, traveled internationally, adopted 3 pets, moved out and got married, started and ended jobs, and felt the devastating blow of the losses of grandparents, friends, and even pets. I continue to evolve my style, my way of thinking, how I handle situations, and think on things a bit longer before acting or speaking.

Venice 2007
College graduation - June 2007
With Abby a few weeks before she passed, 2009

London 2011
Our wedding day, August 11 2012
Rappelling in Mexico at 30
I was talking with my husband the other day and at 20 I don't think that I would have been able to picture myself at 30. I mean, there's still the fundamental parts of me at 20 that I still have at nearly 30, but I never thought that I would've found a career, live in San Francisco, work for a religious non profit, or be as blessed as I am with family and friends.

As for the next 10 years? Still being myself (and accepting that girl) tops my list. As does stepping foot on another new continent (Asia or Australia!), owning our own place, maybe sitting down to write that book, and not be afraid to live.

And how did I do on that 30 before 30? Let's see...

Dedicate more time and effort to the blog
    Make homemade pasta and sauce
      Join a sports team/bowling league/ice skating lessons (Does spin count?)
        Bike across the golden gate bridge
          Go to the symphony with DH
            Go fruit/pumpkin picking
              Hike Angel Island - June 14, 2014
                Bake at least once a month with my kitchenaid mixer (I blame this on the sorry state of my small kitchen)
                  Visit the Italian American Museum 
                    Organize and play a bocce day
                      Be nicer to my cuticles
                        Clean my wardrobe
                          Exercise more and eat better
                            Visit at least one new US city Portland, Or - Sept 2013; Asheville, NC - Nov 2013; Kiawah Island, SC - Nov 2013
                              Read a minimum of 40 new books
                                Take and pass the PHR May 3, 2014!
                                  Push myself harder at work
                                    Strip down the wardrobe
                                      Be better with impulse purchases
                                        Visit another National Park (that I haven't been to already...)  Muir Woods - Dec 2013
                                          Perfect my pie making abilities (According to DH  I'm good).
                                            Have a dinner party
                                              Visit another California coast lighthouse
                                                Cook dinner at home at least twice a week
                                                  Get a few steps closer to buying our own place
                                                    Do something that really pushes my boundaries/limits
                                                      Finish my online course early (prior to November 20..) October 31, 2013
                                                        Work on being a better wife
                                                          Do something spontaneous
                                                            Be okay with turning 30.

                                                            Monday, September 8, 2014


                                                            I saw this post by Heidi at Literate & Stylish and thought I'd do the same as I try to get back into a normal blogging routine...

                                                            Writing: Besides this working on writing a small grant at work and working on planning out next year's wellness program. I've definitely fallen behind on the blog part (sorry blog!) but August was crazy in a good way. We spent three weekends away and work has picked up a bit so sadly the blog has fallen by the wayside.

                                                            Anticipating: Getting this grant done. Also wishing that this week goes by fast as we get to meet a friend's new little one this weekend. And additionally hoping that we can plan a last minute getaway in a few weeks to see my cousin play football...anyone been to Boise?

                                                            Wearing: Flip flops, pj shorts, and a tank. I've been doing laundry tonight while cooking dinner, and the bathroom is next on my cleaning list.

                                                            Craving: Indian food. And a nap. A nap would be grand..

                                                            Missing: Mexico, as pictured above. Vacation... augh!

                                                            What's on your writing, anticipating, wearing, craving, missing list?

                                                            Monday, August 18, 2014

                                                            What I'm reading

                                                            Ever since I passed that big HR test several months ago I've been able to turn my kindle back on and load it with books. I've always loved reading and it's one of my favorite things to do after a long day. I'm always on the hunt for new books so I've thrown together a list of what I've read lately that I enjoyed - please add your favorites below!

                                                            Blood Orchids & the entire Lei Crime series, Toby Neal - I really get attached to characters, especially in a series. This dragged me in because it's mystery, murder, and a little bit of romance. It takes place across all 7 islands of Hawaii and it's really easy to read, which is fantastic for me when I don't need or want something deep.

                                                            Happy(ish), Cara Trautman - This book made me laugh and cry and at some times wonder if my inner monologue was writing this book. It's almost like Bridesmaids met Briget Jones Diary and they had a baby. And then throw in a crazy family, and a squirrel costume. Fantastic for a great beach or vacation read.

                                                            The Emperor's Edge & Series, Lindsay Buroker - I downloaded the first novel in this series and was immediately hooked. Imagine the Hunger Games (without the games part) in a steampunk world where a band of unlikely heroes set out to do the unimaginable. Romance, a bit of gore, funny names and hilarious banter across characters kept me coming back for more with these. And when the final book came out I delayed reading it for so long because I didn't want it to end. Also, if you have a kindle, the first one is free to download (don't say I didn't warn you, though).

                                                            The Perfume Collector, Kathleen Tesaro - The writing in this book is just lovely - and you are transported back to Paris in the 1920's to help a young bride discover a part of her past she never knew. This book made me want to go back to Paris, buy some lovely perfume, and just sit with a cup of coffee.

                                                            The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister, Nonna Bannister - I almost hesitated with putting this one up here, but I believe that it's an important story that needs to be told. This is the compilation of diary entries and other memoir aspects from Nonna Bannister's life in WWII Europe. In some places it was hard to keep going because I felt so sad, angry, and appalled.. but it is an important story to be told. It's stayed with me ever since I finished it and am still in awe of her bravery and courage in the face of such danger and hatred.

                                                            What has been on your summer reading list or are there books that you think people should avoid (still not over the ending of Gone Girl, ugh!). Let me know below!

                                                            Monday, July 28, 2014

                                                            July budget recap

                                                            July is almost over! August is coming, and with it... my 30th.. and some fantastic weekends. So how did I do?

                                                            July budget

                                                            From top left:
                                                            Madewell flamingo shirt, 29
                                                            J Crew Factory Vest, 54
                                                            J Crew Palm tee, 9.99
                                                            J Crew boyfriend blazer, 54
                                                            Madewell pocket tee, 9.99

                                                            Not pictured:

                                                            The flamingo top was something I saw a girl wearing in a hotel and stopped her to ask about. My mom and I have a thing with flamingos (we were the flamingo group in kindergarten on my first field trip so we've had a thing with them ever since). I couldn't stomach the 68 price tag... but at 29? Much better!

                                                            I'm also very excited about the herringbone vest. I passed on it last year and kicked myself multiple times, especially after seeing everyone's blog posts and pinterest boards on it. 

                                                            I was also creeping on the palm tree tee and glad to get it for under 10. 

                                                            The boyfriend blazer is another score of mine - for some reason I have plenty of nice blue blazers but was lacking in the black blazer department. I may need to exchange it for a size up, but that's okay.

                                                            And a plain blue tee - who can go wrong?

                                                            July total: 186.96. I kept it under 200 this month.. but eep. I'm hoping to seriously go clothes-free for August.. except for perhaps a pleated maxi skirt for Mexico (any suggestions anyone)?

                                                            Linking up with Fran - how did you do this month?

                                                            Tuesday, July 15, 2014

                                                            J crew sale picks

                                                            J Crew is having another blowout sale and I've put together a few items I'm lusting after. The black blazer has already been ordered because 1) you can't beat the price, and 2) I'm in serious need of a good black blazer.

                                                            The New Balance shoes are just adorable, and I love how that the palm tree tee is perfect for vacation. The maxi skirt is gorgeous and the floral pullover is the perfect layer for warm summer nights.

                                                            Are you shopping the sale - and if so what are you getting?

                                                            J crew sale picks

                                                            Saturday, July 5, 2014

                                                            EShakti Dress Review

                                                            I first have to warn you that I'm not very good with these things, but when I was contacted by EShakti to do a review of one of their items I figured I'd give it a try. I was able to pick from an array of items, but ultimately it was this maxi dress that caught my eye, and with a big trip coming up for my 30th I knew it would be perfect for Mexico.

                                                            Ordering with EShakti was a breeze - something that's really awesome is you are able to put in your height measurements and pick a size that most matches your actual measurements. I really liked being able to see measurements so clearly outlined - it's a nice change! And on some of their other items you can customize your item to the sleeve length, neckline, and length of your choice.

                                                            The item was shipped via DSL Express (and despite being lost in the mail) it took less than a week for the item to arrive from India. I couldn't wait to get the dress home and try it on, and I seriously can't wait to wear this dress in Mexico.

                                                            The dress is actually of a heavy material (so it's not flimsy) and it has POCKETS. I seriously am so excited over the pockets; it will be perfect for when I want to grab my keys and phone for a walk. It is form fitting in the top and flares out a bit. Even my husband was impressed with the dress and said it's a score.

                                                            Disclaimer: I received this item for free from EShakti for doing a review; however all content and reviews are my own.

                                                            Friday, June 27, 2014

                                                            June budget

                                                            Another month gone.. whew! This month I wrapped up my biggest project to date at the new job. It's been challenging, but on 7/7 when payroll runs and everything is correct I will have a huge weight off my shoulders (and probably celebrate with a beer).

                                                            So how did I do this month?

                                                            Via Groopdealz
                                                            Via Groopdealz
                                                            Groopdealz Meow T shirt, 16.99
                                                            Groopdealz Anchor T shirt, 13.99

                                                            Not pictured: 
                                                            Leopard and latte anchor scarf, 12.00
                                                            J Crew Factory Herringbone Vest, 54.00

                                                            Total: 96.98

                                                            Whoa, working a lot and getting back into spin has been really good for the wallet. The two tees will be great in Mexico, and the anchor scarf (as seen on my instagram) is a fun summer accessory, and also makes for some USA pride while watching world cup games. And... if the factory herringbone vest ships, I will be a happy camper since I've kicked myself for passing on it last year.

                                                            How did you do this month? Linking up with Fran and her budgeting bloggers!

                                                            Wednesday, June 18, 2014

                                                            June Instalately

                                                            June where have you gone?!

                                                            We're plowing toward the end and begin of a new fiscal year at work so things are a little hectic. Regardless, here's some Instagram to show you that I still exist.

                                                            I started June off with a bit of relaxation.. champagne, my kindle, and a massage
                                                            A gift from my husband from NY - a cuff made out of a camera lens!
                                                            She went from boxes to bags. 
                                                            A new beer favorite - Anderson Valley's Cream Ale
                                                            A new favorite outfit - J Crew skirt, top, and necklace, Gap cardigan, Louis Vuitton bag
                                                            Ferry ride to Angel Island - looking back on SF
                                                            A view of the Golden Gate from Angel Island - one more 30 before 30 checked off!
                                                            Wanna follow along? You can find me on instagram at makeupandpearls.

                                                            Tuesday, June 3, 2014

                                                            May Spending Recap

                                                            May has gone by in a blur and I can barely recall what happened in the first half of the month. I think this is somewhat right.. hah.

                                                            J Crew Cleo loafers - 59.99, my review here
                                                            J Crew Factory stripe tee - 18.99
                                                            J Crew Factory Pineapple tee - 12.99

                                                            Not pictured:
                                                            Gap outlet tank top, 6.00
                                                            Old Navy graphic tee in mint print, 8.00
                                                            Coach Reena sandals, 50.00

                                                            Total: 155.97

                                                            Not too shabby.. although I may have a pair of shoes hidden somewhere. Since I worked a ton of overtime I may see about keeping them (horrible, I know...). I love the pineapple tee as it reminds me of summer, and you can never have too many stripes. The coach sandals are perfect for summer and can go with anything from jeans to a maxi dress.

                                                            How did you do in May? Linking up with Fran!

                                                            Tuesday, May 20, 2014

                                                            J Crew & J Crew Factory shoe reviews

                                                            I'm in the middle of my busiest time of year at work - open enrollment, and with over 20+ programs it's my task to visit them all and hold information sessions. It's a blast to be able to get out and meet everyone but at the same time I'm exhausted.

                                                            However, I have two new pairs of shoes to keep that pep in my step up while I'm trekking across 3 counties.

                                                            When I first saw the J Crew Factory Addie loafers in the anchor motif I knew they had to be mine. I love the fact that they combine stripes, an anchor, and neutral colors that can go with any outfit. I took my normal 7.5 in these and I got them for super sale during the last big factory promo sale. I'd watch the site this weekend since it's Memorial Day for a big sale.

                                                            The second pair that I nabbed recently thanks to seeing several others wearing them and getting them on deep discount are the Cleo stripe loafers in canvas. I got these for 59.99 - they are marked 99.99 in store and then an additional 40% - and let's really appreciate that price since these are made in Italy! (And I admit now that I have a loafer problem... oi!). I love these. I think they will be perfect with shorts, jeans, and cutoffs for the summer months. I did go down to a size 7 as my SA advised that because they are lined in leather on the inside they will stretch. Call your stores - I know the SF Center store still had sizes in stock in the back as of Saturday! These also came with a lovely shoe storage bag and a Made in Italy care card.

                                                            Have you picked up any fun shoes lately - and most importantly, will you be stalking the sales for this upcoming Memorial Day weekend?

                                                            Monday, May 12, 2014

                                                            Spring wishlist

                                                            How is it that May is almost already half over? Where has this year gone? Holy wow. I am glad it's spring though.. and we are in for a heatwave here in SF this week, and the warmer weather has got me craving some new items for spring:

                                                            Spring wishlist

                                                            From top left:
                                                            Anthropologie Flynn peplum top. I saw my cousin wearing this yesterday and absolutely loved it on her. Given my foray into peplum this may be something that goes on the sale wishlist.
                                                            Target merona popover in whale print. It has whales on it. Enough said. Perfect for summer!
                                                            Essie polish in mesmerize. Blue seems to be all the rage for nails and I think this would look perfect on toes!
                                                            Anthropologie Aoi tee. Stripes and flowers all in one. Anthro is seriously hitting it out of the park with this one.
                                                            J Crew cleo flats. Stripes, bows, a loafer, and made in Italy? I saw these on Respect the shoes today and loved them. Definitely added to a wish list or 5.
                                                            Keds champion perf shoes. Adorable for summer - and they don't have laces, either! 
                                                            Kut from the Kloth embroided denim shorts. I know what you're thinking..denim shorts. But I think the detailing is adorable and this is something I'd have to try in person. 

                                                            Do you have anything on your wish list for the upcoming months?
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