Happy 2017! A new year brings with it a renewed sense of optimism and excitement for the months ahead. Sure, we have a certain president to contend with later this month, but let’s move beyond that for now and focus our attention on happier pursuits: the things we’d love to accomplish in the new year. Setting out with a list of resolutions for the year sounds daunting (and oftentimes unrealistic), so instead I’m framing them as goals. These are the items I’d like to work toward in the coming months and, honestly, I might not accomplish any of them. That’s okay. Setting goals rather than resolutions means that even the small steps forward are successes worth celebrating.
MORE OUTFIT POSTS
I’m sure Dave is super excited about helping me accomplish this 2017 goal, but they’re the most popular posts and, honestly, my favorite ones to do. Plus, photographing my sartorial hits (and misses) helps me hone in my style and encourages me to be more creative, which leads me to my next goal:
STOP OVERTHINKING CLOTHES
Fashion should be fun and personal style should be a creative journey unmarred by overthinking things like cost per wear and “Can I wear this with three items I already own?” Year after year, my favorite purchases typically fall into one of three categories: impulse purchases that struck an I-have-to-own-this-now chord, uniquely designed items that I love to wear simply because they’re fun, or expensive items I actually had to save up for. (The latter is certainly the anomaly, but it applies to designer duds my bank account can’t handle on a whim like my Hermès bracelet.) Of course, I don’t want to just throw money at anything that catches my eye. I’m working on finding the balance between identifying the items I’ll wear a lot and making sure they’re not just boring basics. And, really, if an item is just that good, I’ll figure out ways to wear it. I also want to get out of the habit of only purchasing individual items because they’re versatile. Why not buy an entire outfit because it looks great together?
TRAVEL TO NEW DESTINATIONS
I can’t let a New Year’s post go by without my perennial goal to travel to new destinations. Last year, we ticked Copenhagen off of our travel list and also visited Nashville. We’re planning to visit Arizona this spring. (I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon and I hear it’s kind of a big deal.) We’d also love to head back to Europe this summer. London is high on our travel wish list as is Iceland, but we’re open to any destination with a deal on airfare. I also really want to spend a long weekend beached at, well, the beach.
BUY A HOUSE
Last year was an emotional roller coaster with our house hunt. (I never expected to feel so devastated after losing out on the only house we liked enough to put an offer on.) The real estate market in Madison is tough with low inventory, but things are starting to come on the market again and I’m optimistic that this is the year we’ll finally become homeowners. This also means we’ll finally get rid of some of our ugly hand-me-down transitional furniture. It just doesn’t make sense to buy things like new couches until we know what kind of space we have to work with.
EAT OUT LESS OFTEN
With the aforementioned plans, we’ll have to find ways to cut expenses throughout the year. Dining (and drinking) out is a huge line item that can be trimmed. Not only is dining out multiple times a week expensive, it’s also doing a number on our waistlines with the calorie-laden meals. Besides, I enjoy cooking. It’s a fun, creative way to unwind after a busy day at the office. So, here’s to getting mileage out of my Bon Appetit subscription with more meals at home in 2017!
Happy New Year!
TRIP PLANNING: We’re busy making our travel plans for 2017 and this post is the ultimate escape eye candy. So far, we’re considering Arizona in March (I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon), a long, lazy weekend beachside, and a summer trip to Europe (possibly London).
SHOP: The post-holiday sale at Gorjana continues to be the most tempting thing ever with deeply discounted baubles. They’re perfect for layering together or with your statement-making pieces. I ordered this and I’m tempted to add this to my collection, too.
OOPS: Take a trip down memory lane with 2016’s most awkward fashion moments.
SHOPPING MISTAKES: Personal shoppers weigh in on the 30 shopping mistakes we all make — and how to avoid them.
PARTY PERFECT: Can these flats be any more perfect? I’m thisclose to buy them, but I can’t decide between yellow or pink. I’m leaning toward yellow because it’s more unexpected.
FITNESS TIPS: Easy ways to stay healthy on your next adventure.
HEALTHY EATING: Now that the holiday cookies are finished, it’s time to start eating healthy again. Liz shared 10 healthy recipes to try in the new year.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
‘ROUND THE BLOGS: I’m thinking of adding a link-up to the “Weekend Reading” posts for you to share your favorite blog posts from the past week. Yay? Nay? Thoughts?
If I were to stay with my quarterly budget for the upcoming year, this would have been the month that kicked off my winter spending. However, I haven’t quite settled on my approach to budgeting for 2017. On one hand, the quarterly budget was nice in that it allowed me the flexibility to allocate more to months when stores were overflowing with treasures. On the other hand, I don’t think a budget actually reins in my spending. I can rationalize just about any purchase and, if I’m being honest, I can afford to go over my monthly allotment. So, the jury’s still out on how this series will unfold in 2017, but I’ll keep some iteration of it for three reasons:
- I think it’s important to be transparent about the items I accrue, especially when it comes to the freebies from partnerships.
- I’m super nosy and I love reading these types of posts from other people.
- I hope that the mini reviews of the items I kept or returned help guide your purchasing decisions if these are also on your radar.
In December, I went a little overboard and spent a whopping $354. Holy moly. This is mostly due to the mirrored Rebecca Minkoff purse I’m crazy about. I had kept looking at it (read: obsessing over) the bag all November and finally bit the bullet over the Black Friday weekend. It’s definitely a statement maker, but the silver keeps it versatile and I love that it’s paired with gold hardware.
As far as Christmas goodies are concerned, I received two striped sweaters for my ever-growing collection of stripes (this one from my parents and this one from Dave in the ivory and black colorway). Dave also gave me these gorgeous Jenny Bird earrings. They’re such a unique, sculptural piece. The front hoop lays flat against your earlobe and the back hoop dangles from the earring backing. I’ve mentioned it before, but Jenny Bird is by far my favorite jeweler of the moment and there’s a “Behind the Baubles” interview in the works!
See all of the year’s wardrobe additions here.
- Rebecca Minkoff small “Love” crossbody in metallic silver ($146; worn here): I could wax poetic about this bag, but I won’t. Just know that I’m smitten with it. The only drawback is that it doesn’t hold a lot. It takes some creativity to tuck my daily essentials inside: an iPhone, a tube of lipstick, a small mirror, a mini hairbrush, a credit card case, and my inhaler (#winter).
- Rebecca Minkoff mini trifold wallet ($0): This was the gift with purchase for any purchase over $100 on Cyber Monday. While I had originally ordered the purse above on Thanksgiving, the Cyber Monday deal was enough motivation to place a second order and return the first. What can I say? I’m a sucker for free things especially when they’re adorable.
- Gap true skinny ankle-length jeans ($33; worn here): This is the first pair of jeans that I’ve ever truly loved. They miraculously don’t get baggy during the day! I might just turn into a denim girl yet! (Unlikely…)
- Rachel Roy sequin swing dress ($60): This is the best dress to have on hand for special occasions! The champagne color is gorgeous in person and I love that the shimmery side of the sequins lays down, but you’ll get a peek of the glimmer when they’re brushed up. (Fair warning: people really want to feel your dress when you wear it. So many people at Dave’s office holiday party insisted on brushing the sequins up and down!) It does run small in the chest, so pick a size to fit that area comfortably. The a-line shape skims over curves.
- Sanctuary lace-up printed dress ($48, also available here and here): This dress runs large, so be sure to size down even if you don’t think you’ll need to. I reached for a medium first, but ended up selecting the small.
- Banana Republic striped turtleneck sweater ($38): I don’t think I would have ever ordered this online, but I fell in love with it in the store. It’s just a really pretty, sophisticated sweater. It fits true to size.
- J.Crew crystal drop earrings in pink ($17): The color of these earrings is more vibrant in person. They’re not terribly heavy, making them comfortable for all-day wear.
- Gorjana “Petra” cuff ($12): I actually just ordered this today, so I have no idea how it’ll be in person. I’m usually happy with Gorjana purchases and the sale price was too good to pass up. (Browse the rest of the sale here.)
As always, I want to be transparent about what I’ve received from companies for review or as part of a collaboration.
- Garnet Hill belted faux fur collar coat (worn here)
- Make Me Chic lace-up sweater: Coming to an outfit post soon!
- eShakti star-print dress: The great thing about eShakti is that you can fully customize your dress. I went sleeveless with a crew neck to give it a much younger vibe. I’ll wear it on the blog soon!
DIDN’T WORK OUT
Things I tried and didn’t love:
- H&M sequined skirt: The color is gorgeous, but the length is just too long to be flattering on me.
I’m linking up with Fran!