The Weekend Guide

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MAKE
These yogurt parfait popsicles are a glam summer update to the usual breakfast fare.

LEARN
Before you head out to celebrate today, learn more about The Star Spangled Banner.

DYE
Don’t dump that old dress in the donation pile just yet. Try this tie-dye technique to give it new life this summer. You could also try dying a tablecloth and napkins for a summer soiree.

SERVE
Pass on the potato chips and lighten up today’s meal with a blueberry, strawberry, and jicama salsa.

SAVE
Here’s a list of ten summer essentials to save on.

SIP
A boozy take on a classic lemonade refresher.

 

additional image via

Five Under $55

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Happy Independence Day weekend! We’re keeping things pretty relaxed this weekend with afternoons at the pool and plenty of burgers, brats, and beer! That and plenty of sale shopping. Here are my favorites:

  • Bauble Bar – take 30% off sitewide with code RSJULY (ends 7/5). I’m all about this pair of gold fringe earrings and this stunning architectural cuff.
  • Charm & Chain – take 20% off sitewide with code FIREWORKS (ends 7/6). It’s a fantastic time to scoop up a piece from favorite designers such as ASHA, Gerard Yosca, or Lulu Frost.
  • Lulu Frost – take 20% off sitewide with code JULY4TH20. The Lulu Frost selection at Charm & Chain is limited. Head directly to the designer’s site to save on a wide selection of pieces. This necklace is high on my must-have list, along with a ring with a secret compartment, and semiprecious stone earrings.
  • DVF – take an additional 25% off all sale items with code JULY25 (ends 7/6). This dress would make for a pretty work piece.
  • J.Crew – take 40-60% off final sale with code LONGWEEKEND (ends 7/6). Final sale makes me nervous, so I usually beeline to the jewelry (always fits!) and beach cover ups (they still look good if you size up to be on the safe side).

Team USA

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I’m not sure how ambitious we’ll be this holiday weekend, since I’m still bound to crutches for a couple more weeks, but I’m wearing this for the 4th if we do make it out. I received these sneakers from KicksUSA before I broke my foot and they’ve been a lifesaver. Crutches are much easier with traction! (I tried to wear these and just about broke my other foot.) The shoes are darker and more richly saturated in person than they appear in these photos (weird lighting), which called for a patriotic pairing of red, white, and blue.

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Dress: Theory (similar)
Bag: Diane von Furstenberg (similar)
Shoes: Puma c/o KicksUSA
Sunglasses: Karen Walker c/o Shopbop
Bracelet: Hermes
Lips: Stila “Beso”

 

The Coveted

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This week, I’m coveting plenty of not-so-budget friendly items:

  • cami with a pretty ruffled hem. There’s a good chance that it’s not flattering at all, but it’s worth a try!
  • A light fixture that’s making me wish I owned a home and a room with dramatic navy paint. Would it be weird to buy it now and store it to use someday? (Yes.)
  • A ladylike Rachel Zoe dress. The short hemline keeps it from being too demure. (I purchased a romper by the designer last year and was impressed with the quality and attention to detail. I have high hopes for the dress.) This nail polish set complements the colors of the dress perfectly.
  • A pineapple matchbox. Add a candle for a lovely hostess gift.
  • A pair of quirky-meets-traditional loafers from Kate Spade. The slightly pointed toe reminds me of the Everlane pair introduced last year.
  • An updated take on a signet ring.
  • The very first designer bag I ever fell in love with. Even though Chloé is having a sartorial moment, I loved the crossbody Marcie style since it was first introduced. Honestly, the idea of spending this much on a handbag gives me a panic attack, but I’m considering setting aside $50 per paycheck and all blog/eBay money in hopes of taking the plunge someday. (At that point, I feel that the larger version is probably more practical. I’d like a bag I could at least tuck my camera in on vacation.)

Budget Update

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I started the month with the best of intentions, but then found myself fed up with my summer work wardrobe and “I have nothing to wear!” days becoming more frequent. Most of my work wardrobe was more appropriate for cooler months, leaving me with casual pieces I’ve been repurposing for the workplace. I dreaded getting dressed Monday through Friday because I had no idea what to wear and was growing tired of the same ensembles. And with that, a sizable order was placed with J.Crew, a Tory Burch dress was justified, and my wardrobe got a whole lot more versatile. So, yes, I went completely and utterly overboard with my budget. And you know what? I don’t care. I can’t remember the last time I purchased truly professional clothes. I considered giving myself a pass this month–mostly because I was too embarrassed to add it all up–but that seems like cheating. I present to you, the monthly list of what I spent money on instead of investing in my IRA.

See all of the year’s wardrobe additions here.

THE BUDGET

Each month, I’ve earmarked $250 to spend on clothing and accessories. I consider blog revenue and eBay sales to be “fun money” and will add a portion of that additional income to my monthly budget (if it doesn’t end up in my travel fund first). I’ll record any budget increases or expenditures here each month. Anything that has been ordered and has not yet arrived will appear on the next budget update. I’m also allowing any extra money to rollover into the next month.

  • $250 starting budget
  • – $48 deficit from last month
  • + $400 added to the budget this month (And yet I still went over…)
  • – $704 spent this month
  • = $102 deficit

PURCHASED

  • Express chambray off-the-shoulder trapeze dress ($60): Love. It. See it well-ironed here on here and less so here.
  • J.Crew embroidered mosaic pull-on shorts ($39): I doubt I would have kept these if my foot wasn’t broken. In fact, I haven’t worn them out of the house yet. I think I was just enamored with them because I could put them on over my cast. I went with a size small, which is absurd. My booty is not a small. Go down a size or two.
  • Steve Madden “Antler” flat sandal ($70): I may only be able to wear one sandal right now, but I sure do love it! It looks like the leather will patina nicely and they’re comfortable. Some reviewers said that the toe strap gave them blisters. I didn’t have that problem. I’m antsy to wear the left sandal now!
  • Trina Turk flower pendant with a red center via eBay ($36): I had the pleasure of trying a Trina Turk piece in my Rocksbox last month and was impressed with the quality, so I went to eBay to add a piece to my collection.
  • ASHA By ADM earrings ($75): What can I say? I’m a sucker for a sample sale. I’ve wanted a piece from ASHA for a long time, but her pieces are on the pricey side. The earrings are absolutely beautiful, even if they’re heavy.
  • J.Crew chevron-striped dress ($103): I went with my regular size 8 in this dress. It fits perfectly around the waist, but the top is too large. I have this problem with most dresses and will need to take a trip to the tailor once my cast is off. The flirty peekaboo cutout is my favorite part.
  • J.Crew “Jackie” cardigan sweater in navy ($46): I have more navy in my closet than black, so I opted for the neutral to mix and match for chilly days at work.
  • J.Crew “Jackie” shell ($34): Conservative and looks cute with skirts and pants. Win, win!
  • J.Crew mélange herringbone skirt ($128): I was hesitant to purchase this skirt since it was excluded from J.Crew’s recent promotions, but I’m so glad I gave it a shot. I love the pleats and the fabric pairs nicely with other work favorites. See it here.
  • Tory Burch ponté dress ($113): Isn’t it amazing how a good sale brings some items to the forefront? I barely noticed this dress when it was available for full price. It’s quite lovely, though. The knit is heavy, allowing it to be form-fitting without being revealing. It’s no longer available for such a low price. Stalk it at Bloomingdale’s and Saks.
  • Banana Republic shirred blouse ($0 with Gap Rewards): I’ve gone on about this blouse long enough.
  • Old Navy high-rise soft shorts ($0 with Gap Rewards): I would have never kept these if they weren’t free. The quality is surprisingly shoddy, even for Old Navy. However, they are incredibly soft and look okay after a good ironing. The waist tie is stitched under the back belt loop. I took a seam ripper to it because it added too much bulk under shirts.

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GIFTED
As always, I want to be transparent about what I’ve received from companies for review or as part of a collaboration. I’m selective about the pieces I accept and will only work with companies I feel good about recommending.

UP NEXT

I do need to buy another pair of practical shoes to wear when my cast is off. I’m thinking a pair of white slip-on sneakers that I could wear with dresses. After that, I’m going for a month of no shopping (or almost no shopping). Wish me luck! And don’t tempt me with your adorable blogs and outfit photos. 😉

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DIDN’T WORK OUT

Of course, with every successful shopping month, there are some misses:

  • Fallen Star off-the-shoulder swing dress: Everything I hate about fast-fashion stores (human rights considerations aside) is in this dress: cheap fabric, poor construction, and questionable sizing. If your judgement is clouded by the print, be sure to go up at least one size.
  • Zara off-the-shoulder embroidered dress: This was adorable! I tried a medium, but a small would have had plenty of room. I didn’t keep it because it looked so similar to the Michael Kors version I bought last month, which I like quite a bit more.

 

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