Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Clearance Couture: A Perfect $20 Month

Whew! I made it! Two down, ten to go in my $20 per month shopping challenge. February is over--ok so I have like 18 hours left. I started off the month with only $13 thanks to this breath-taking turquoise bracelet.This time tomorrow I will have $20 and a fresh start for March. I did pretty well in February, even with my gift card frenzy. I spent $6 on two pairs of outfit-making earrings and I then found myself with $7 left over. 

Would you believe it?! I found something for exactly $7! I almost didn't even need to try it on. Surely it was a sign. But I did, and I can't wait for the summer so I can wear it!

Basically its two pieces, a black tank knee-length dress and a sheer patterned wrap. I know my pictures of clothing really are not great. I think I need some sort of dress form or something since its kind of difficult/awkward to put photos of me up all the time. But hopefully you can look past that and admire the colors (turquoise!) and paisley pattern on this steal. 

Mhmm, be jealous ;)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Embellish with Buttons: Part 2

Hooray for buttons! These little guys are proving to be an awesome quickie closet update (Part 1 here). The latest victim is a sweatshirt I've had forever, it's been asking me for some glam for a while now. I've had a love/hate relationship with sweatshirts. In jr. high and high school I wore them like nonstop. And then I thought they were the ugliest things ever and got rid of all of mine. But sometimes you just need one, ya know? So I got this compromise of a sweatshirt from Old Navy a few years back. My addition of gold nautical buttons just help strengthen its disguise as a sweatshirt.

Got a little too excited to remember to take a before picture, but you can imagine how badly it was screaming for some sparkle. Anyone else having fun with buttons?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Trusty Rusty

Went into a bit of a shopping frenzy with my life-saving gift cards! When I cleaned out my purse last year I found several Visa gift cards with a few dollars each left. They went to good use, for $25 I got quite the bundle from Rue21.

Just above the knee length coat- $9
Earth tone tunic- $4
White sweater- $4
Green winter print long sleeve shirt- $3
Gray layering cami- $2
Rusty red/orange cropped sweater-$3

So far I've worn the rust colored sweater layered over a brown long sleeve shirt. And let me tell ya-it looks really great paired with a bunch of my other clearance couture finds: brown flats (scored right after Christmas), $5 jeans and new turqouise jewelry (bracelet & earrings).

Flats $9.99
Jeans $5
Long sleeve $8
Sweater $3
Bracelet $7
Earrings $3
Total Outfit $35.99

And that, my friends, is this months favorite outfit in my current turqoise and tangerine-ish color obsession too! What color combination are you obsessing over these days?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Treasure in a Bottle

I never leave Goodwill disappointed. Snatched up this little bottle for a buck and it's perfect for corralling loose change. Plus I love the shape of the bottle and the giant cork top. And its little nod to my love for the beach!

Monday, February 20, 2012

All Buttoned Up

So I finally worked up the courage to sew some button embellishments onto one of my shirts. I noticed that I kept pairing this long sleeve with gold jewelry, so gold buttons were an obivous choice (these are the same bags I've been working on making jewelry with too).

Five minutes later, new shirt. Perfect little project to help me stay on track for my $20/month shopping challenge too!

Friday, February 17, 2012

An Anniversary for TIAW

Started this blog one year ago, and it's pretty exciting to look back over my year here! One of the most surprising benefits of this blog is the feedback I've received. You have no idea how excited I feel when a friend begins a conversation with the words, "So, I read on your blog..." or "Is that one of your clearance finds?!". Not to mention how many fun things I've been asked to do or be a part of (parties, showers & weddings), simply because they were reminded or learned more about me and my crazy dreams from this blog. 

I've always enjoyed creating and imagining. But I got so busy and distracted packing up my schedule full of school, work and being a gym rat. It finally all caught up to me in the form of a lovely little thing called chronic costochondritis, inflammation of rib cartilage. Between my high level of activity (running half marathons and daily gym visits) and stress from packing each hour of the day my body (& mind & my husband!) had enough! Cutting back is hard, trying to make every moment the best use of time and pressuring myself to be perfect in accomplishments and body is a vicious cycle. So in an effort to enjoy life again, I started to pick up where I left off on the activities I enjoyed before getting caught up with 'adult life'. Naturally, I wanted something to help me keep track of ideas and projects to look back on. Because, lets face it, I do like to be busy and have lots of things going on, but its got to be in balance. Since taking turns in the backseat of my life, I've learned a few things: some things can wait until tomorrow (or next week-yikes!) and how to sleep in past 7 AM (that was a big deal!). 

There's been challenges let me tell ya. My body is not where my perfectionist mind wants it to be. I've had to experiment and figure out how I can exercise moderately and every time I go to far my ribs remind me. I think its just God's way of keeping me in line, exercise was kind of like my drug for a while there. This past fall I had the opportunity to be reminded that not being in fantastic shape with great muscle tone doesn't mean I'm fat and ugly. My good friend of AshWhitePhotography, who I also mentioned in the post about our Christmas photo, asked me (ME!) to get out my wedding dress and help her add to her portfolio. And guess what? My dress still fit! And best of all, I have a couple hundred photos to remind myself on my 'fat-days' that I have some good features (thanks mom!) and my husband isn't lying when he tells me he thinks I'm beautiful. 

(AshWhite Photography)

So not exactly the typical post here, but just wanted to take some time to reflect on why I am even doing this in the first place and what its meant to me to keep this puppy going for one whole year! Lets do it again, shall we?
Here goes year two!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

$3 Jewelry

Scored some fabulous earrings over the past weekend for $3/pair! I can't remember what the store was called, but was a Rue21/Charlotte Russe/Forever 21 sort of place in the Capitola Mall.

Obivously I'm really digging this turqoise and tangerine thing. Loooove it!
And I have $7 left for the month (started with only $13 thanks to this bracelet).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Heart on My Sleeve(s)

Corny title, I know. But you should know that I love all things corny. I've been collecting fabric for quite some time now and when I was sick last week I got bored enough to start (gasp!) cutting some of it up. For a good cause of course. I wanted to embellish a plain white tee for a fun, yet not over the top, nod to Valentines Day. And you can't beat a F-R-E-E closet update by using stuff you already hoarded own.

Ta-da! Took me about 30 minutes, and it would probably take less time if you're head wasn't full of gunk like mine was. It went down like this: 
Put shirt on
Make a dot on the center of your elbow
Take shirt off
Cut a paper template to get the size of the heart right
Trace paper heart onto fabric and cut it out
Pin it and sew it on.

Personally, I like the whole ragged edge look so I didn't even bother trying to cut an allowance and sew the raw edges under. So if you've got an plain tee hanging around--and I know you do--you have no excuses to not be festive on Love Day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Hearty Valentines Day

Valentines Day is one of those holidays people either love or hate. I think the best holidays, gifts and celebrations are when it's evident there was a lot of thought put into it. Whether its an evening at home relaxing with the one you love (or even your family!) or something more extravagant--like a fancy night out, it truly is the thought that counts. Cody and I have celebrated Valentine's Day differently every year, just whatever fits that time around. A few festive touches are all you really need, and lots can be done with just a  heart shaped cookie cutter or freely cut hearts.

brownie mix on bottom, strawberry cake in the middle and icing. Easy.

heart to heart

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Easy heart garland, using a just stapler

Chocolate covered rice krispies treats


Pinned Image

heart gloves

So how about we don't get so serious about this holiday of love and just have a little fun with it! Simple and sweet, its the thought that counts. 
What are you doing to celebrate this year?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tangerine & Turquoise

Well, its Day 4 of being home sick, so that means my laptop has been working a lot of overtime. Lots of inspirational image viewing to get me through this cold. Now, I'm aware that the color of 2012 was named Tangerine Tango, but it seems like I keep seeing Turquoise everywhere instead (2009's color)!

And just for kicks, a few of the lovely items I've spotted in my online-window-shopping (done with a bottomless cup of tea of course!)

Pacific Vases

Sea Measuring Cups

West Elm


Ceramic Watermelon Scroll Knobs, Set of 4 | World Market

World Market

Yummy. Did notice that Tangerine Tango and Turquoise are a fun combination too!


(Turquoise-lovers blog)

So what colors are catching your eye these days?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Closet Staples

Instead of searching for the latest and greatest closet steal at the stores, it's forcing me to notice the items that I already own and turn to most often. I've noticed I have a uniform of sorts. Cowboy boots and a leather jacket. Yeah, doesn't exactly sound like the girly-girl me I'm usually described as. But I think thats the fun part--taking a couple tough items to pair with my lace, ruffles, frills, and sparkles.

Here the only thing that really girlies the outfit up is my gold layered necklace. But I think you still get the idea. The boots I bought with my hubby, we each got a pair right before our wedding as a birthday/wedding gift. And I've worn them so often the sole is starting to seperate. Seriously, I wear them almost everyday. I purchased them almost 4 years ago, but I believe they were between $90-$100. Made my stomach hurt to swipe my card, but after all this time they are my most versatile purchase.

(Dan Post style 3211, if you're wondering)

And my jacket. This was one of those pieces that threw itself into my hands and I just couldn't deny its plea. I first spotted it at Heritage and it was 50% off at $60, I totally adored it but just couldn't swallow the price tag. A few months later, I had completely forgotten about the jacket by the way, I walked into the same store and low and behold--there it was. Still waiting for me! And this time it was an extra 50% off, yes it was $30. Yeah, how could I not buy it?!  And so that is how my favorite jacket and boot combo came to be. And may we all continue to live happily ever after.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Getting Back on Track

 Did some thrifting with friends over the past weekend, and since I already spent my $20 for the January, it was a lot of, "well, that would be nice..." muttering under my breath with my fists clenched wishing I hadn't promised myself and the world that I would DO THIS. And then in store #50 (ok, so not literally but it felt like it), I broke down. I spent $7. But only because my supportive meddling friends (still love you!) told me "but its so 'Tanya" and "girls getaway weekends shouldn't count"...thanks girls.
So pretty....

 I guess that leaves $13 for February. Bummers. This is going be a long year.