Just a quick outfit post today.  For some reason most of my photos of this outfit didn’t turn out so great.  That drapey top is so comfy, and actually looks a lot prettier in real life.

Top: Old Navy (via rummage sale)
Jeans: Gap Curvy
Shoes: Courtesy of Dansko
Necklace: Garage sale
Bracelet: Garage sale

Quote: Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson , by Louise Rennison

“…e.g. I will think less about my nose and more about my quite attractive teeth”*

*Note: I have no issues with my nose, I just like the quote.

It’s finally starting to feel like fall in Florida with temps in the *gasp* 70s.  I was actually able to wear long sleeves and scarves this week.  Of course, it warmed up by the middle of the day, but it’s nice to not feel drenched in sweat everyday.

Oh, did you happen to notice something new in this outfit?  Why yes, that is a new yellow purse.  Or at least, it was new a few months ago.  It’s so beautiful, that I was scared to take it outside of my house.  This outfit was it’s first official outing.

So here’s the backstory: back when I was underemployed, broke, armed with a master’s degree, and searching for a full-time job, I promised myself that whenever I got a (permanent) full-time job, I would treat myself to one of three things: 1) a watch, 2) a pair of Fluevogs, or 3) a new Morelle bag.  I found out in June that I would get to keep my full-time job (which I love), but money was tight, so I had planned to wait until the fall to get my treat.  Then, Morelle announced that she would be closing up her shop.  And my decision was made.

Despite money being very tight, I ordered a yellow leather slouch from her.  And it was over $200.  Which I did not count against my shopping plan because it was  special occasion.  But let me tell you: this. bag. is. the. best. bag. ever.

I love it so much.  The gorgeous yellow color, the soft leather, the roominess without bulkiness, the wrapped chain handle.  It is pretty much perfection in purse form.  I’ve treated it with water-resistant leather spray, and now that I’ve braved taking it out of doors, it will definitely be one of my regular purses.  Love.

Tee: Old Navy
Cardigan: Anthropologie (via eBay)
Jeans: The Gap
Shoes: Keen Barcelona (via eBay)
Purse: Morelle Slouch
Scarf: Target

Quote: Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson , by Louise Rennison

Yep, I just used a Twilight quote as a post title.  What can I say?  I love and hate the series at the same time.  The writing quality is not so great, yet I found the stories engrossing.  Bella’s insecurity and her feeling of incompleteness without Edward really annoy me.  But I absolutely love the character of Jacob Black.  He’s caring, loyal, emotional, sometimes erratic.  And I love reading about the wolf pack and their Quileute history.  So with this outfit, I decided to show my Team Jacob spirit, with a lovely little piece that you may not notice in that first picture:

That’s right: I got my Wendy Brandes Little Woolf necklace!

I love this little necklace.  The charm is so tiny, and is beautifully detailed.  If you haven’t checked out any of Wendy B’s jewelry before, you totally should.  The quality is fantastic.

Tank: Old Navy
Blazer: J Crew (via eBay)
Jeans: Gap Curvy
Shoes: Dansko Sally (courtesy of Dansko)
Headband: Target
Necklace: Wendy Brandes

Quote: Jacob Black in Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga), by Stephanie Meyer

*Week 35 of My Great Shopping Plan of 2010, where I attempt to stay on a budget and fill out my wardrobe*

Gap Curvy Pants, $59.50

Last week, I finally did what I’ve been saying I would do for months, and I actually bought a pair of grey work slacks that fit.  At full price.   In polyester blend.  Which is something I pretty much never do.  Why, you may ask?

  • The two pairs of cotton/spandex work slacks I own have become too tight.  Until I lose some weight, I’m stuffing them in my hall closet with my winter coats.  I desperately needed something that I could wear to work now, at my current weight, that wouldn’t make me feel like I was suffocating.
  • I’ve been attempting unsuccessfully to thrift a pair of flattering, fitting work slacks for the past several months (really, since the beginning of the year).  For some reason, it’s been next to impossible to find non-polyester curvy slacks in a 12/14 at my local thrift/consignment stores.
  • I know that Gap Curvy works well for me, because my Gap Curvy jeans are pretty much my most comfortable and flattering jeans ever.  I knew that these slacks would work.
  • And the polyester.  You may know that I generally can’t stand polyester.  But as I said, I had no slacks that fit.  I went back to work full time a month and a half ago.  I desperately needed some professional slacks.  I could not find any in cotton/spandex.  The polyester content of these Gap slacks is 63%.  While that’s not ideal for me, it is acceptable given the circumstances.

Eventually, I’ll probably replace these slacks with some cotton blend ones and take them to a consignment shop.  Hopefully, the Gap will learn that some people don’t like polyester, and start offering some alternatives.  But until then, I at least have a decent pair of work slacks.

I had $114 left in my September (rolled over) budget.  Another $125 was added with the start of October.  So I started the week with $239.  The slacks were $59.50, so I now have $179.50 left.  I really need to get around to going on that shopping spree :)

I’m not one to be vainly interested in clothes, but I am coming to the realization that my closet needs an overhaul.  I have a lot of great clothes that currently don’t fit, since I gained a little weight over the summer.  I have a lot of clothes that I don’t completely love – the fabric isn’t soft, the color is wrong, etc.  Some of these problems I can fix, but really, I mostly need to get rid of a lot of my clothes and buy some new duds that I actually really love.  I would estimate that right now, I only regularly wear about 25 – 30% of my closet on a regular basis.  I think I should maybe revisit my wardrobe inventory and wardrobe gaps lists, and really take a look at what I need.

I’ve also got another change in the works: I’m buying a pair of running shoes.  I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile, but good running shoes are expensive, and I didn’t have enough money saved up to afford a pair until recently.  I want to get a really good pair, because my feet pronate (or is it over-pronate?) – the thing where your feet tend to roll to the outside.  I like to wear running shoes that correct this, because it helps prevent injury, and I really don’t want to screw up my knees.

I used to run three times a week for about 20 minutes, but for the past several years, I switched to just working out at the gym, and then recently, I added yoga.  I absolutely love practicing yoga, but the gym just isn’t doing it for me anymore, and my membership rates are about to go up, so I’m thinking it’s a great time to take up running again.  We’ll see how it goes.

Tank: Sonoma (thrifted)
Cardigan: Anthropologie (eBay)
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Keen Barcelona (eBay)
Bracelets: Jill Popowich
Earrings: Mackie Jewelry

Quote: Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat

This outfit was all about week-end comfort.  My favorite comfy shoes, my favorite comfy (and flattering!) jeans, a nice soft, 3/4 sleeve cardigan.  Absolutely perfect.  And the weather was spectacularly gorgeous.  Winter was fun and all, but I’m totally soaking in the 70 degree warmth of spring.  In only a few weeks, I won’t be able to go outside in a outfit like this without sweating buckets, so I’m savoring it while it lasts.

I also wore my two lovely new gifts with this outfit.  Isn’t that robot necklace freakin’ awesome?  And I love how the rainbow bracelet that Kate gave me ties in the color of my shoes and my cardigan.

What’s your favorite comfy and stylish outfit to wear on Spring weekends?

Tank: Old Navy
Cardigan: New York & Co (via Classy Consignment)
Jeans: Gap Curvy (altered by me)
Shoes: Born Codders
Necklace: Love Spell Jewels
Bracelet: Accidental Artists

Quote: In My New Yellow Shirt, by Eileen Spinelli

Wow!  Now that I’m working full time at a job where I actually have something to do eight hours a day, I’m finding myself with significantly less free time.  I really love my new job though.  I love what I’m doing, and the hours seem to fly by because I always have something to be working on.  I’m just having to learn how to budget my time outside of work.  It’s hard, because I have so many things that I love doing.  I love to blog.  I love to workout.  I love to cook.  I love to knit and watch movies with my boyfriend.  And while I don’t love it, I also have to take care of everyday tasks like cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc.  And fitting all of these things into the hours between 3:30 pm (when I get home from work) and 9:00 pm (when I go to bed) is no easy task.

I don’t want to give up doing the things I love, so I’m finding compromises.  Some days, I’ll go to the gym and not have time to comment on blogs.  Some nights, I’ll stay in and catch up on the blogosphere.  I’m learning quicker recipes to cook during the work week, and saving the more complicated stuff for the weekend.  I’m still wishing I had about five hours more in every day, but I’m learning to live with less free time.  The fact that I love my job helps a lot.

In order to keep myself from stressing out, I’m changing up my blog posting schedule a bit.  Starting this week, this is what I’ll be posting: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays will be daily outfits.  These are my favorite posts to write, so I don’t want to cut back on them too much.  Wednesdays are Etsy Love, because I love supporting handmade.  Saturdays will just be Links a la Mode.  On occasion I will post feature articles on Saturdays, but they won’t be regular.  And Sunday’s will be Shopping Plan posts.  Changing things up will let me still post daily, without feeling stressed out.  I love this blog, I love the blogging community, and I do not want to stop.  I just have to cut back a bit.  I’m still visiting other blogs and commenting, but not as much as I used to.  I still love and appreciate all my readers, and I try to visit your blogs as much as I can, but please understand that often I won’t have time to read blogs until the weekend.

How to you budget your free time to make room for all the things you love?

Blouse: Anthropologie
Cardigan: Fossil
Jeans: Gap Curvy (altered by me)
Shoes: Born Sokal (via eBay)
Necklace: Jorgensen Studio
Purse: Morelle Charlotte

Quote:  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

I soon as I bought this breton-striped tee, I knew that I would have to create a French-inspired outfit with it eventually.  The navy stripes look fantastic with pops of red, and the corduroy blazer helps it look polished.  I loved wearing this so much.  I’m very drawn to classic European styles.

The other thing I really love about this outfit is the necklace I’m wearing.  It belonged to my grandfather.  He was Catholic, and he wore this while fighting in World War II (I think he was at Guadalcanal, or one of the other Pacific battles).  It’s a St. Christopher Medal; he’s the patron saint of travelers, and wearing this is supposed to protect you.  I’m not Catholic, and I don’t really believe in the power of wearing objects to protect you, but I still think it’s a neat story.

I know a lot of people prefer to keep jewelry they have inherited tucked away in jewelry boxes, because they’re afraid of damaging them if they wear them out. But I see wearing items like this as a way of connecting with my past, with those I have lost.  I was only nine when my grandfather died, but wearing this necklace helps me to feel like a part of him is still here.

How do you feel about wearing items that you have inherited from family members?

Blouse: J Crew (via eBay)
Jacket: Coyote (garage sale)
Jeans: Gap Curvy
Shoes: Born Codder
Purse: Morelle Truffle
Necklace: Belonged to my grandfather

Quote: Anatole over Paris, by Eve Titus

I think that lately, I’ve been taking myself too seriously.  I love blogging; I love the supportive community I’ve found in the style blogosphere; I love getting dressed up every day, taking pretty pictures, and sharing them with you.  But lately, I’ve been worrying too much about aspects that don’t really matter.  Like how my site statistics were doing.  Or how many comments I got that day.  Or, heaven forbid, seeing my Alexa rank go down.  Or how I haven’t received offers from any potential sponsors that fit with the vibe of my blog.

I didn’t realize how much I was worrying about these things until reading this post at Fell 4 Fashion, where Danielle reflects on what blogging means to her, and how it was starting to stress her out.  I love blogging, but it is a hobby.  I do not make my living off of blogging, and really, I don’t ever plan to.  I’m not opposed to making a little money through sponsorships, which can then be put back into the blog, but only if it doesn’t change the overall feel.

So I’m coming to a realization – I need to focus on what I love, and stop worrying about all these extra things that ultimately don’t really matter.  It’s okay if I’m not able to comment on fifty blogs everyday.  It’s okay if I don’t always get every outfit posted to Wardrobe Remix, Weardrobe and Chictopia.  It’s okay if my site statistics aren’t always stellar.  It’s okay if I cut back the number of blogs in my Google Reader to something that I can actually manage on a daily basis.  It’s okay if my outfit isn’t always super-amazing and creative.

I love blogging, and I want it to be fun and enjoyable, not stressful.  So I’m pledging right now to stop worrying about all these things.   And I’m going to make sure that I have at least one photo in every outfit post that is just plain fun.  Because really, if I can’t have fun, then what’s the point?

Have you ever had a point in time where blogging/blog reading became more of a chore than something you did for fun, because you loved it?  What did you do to rekindle your love of the blogosphere?

Blouse: Target
Cardigan: J Crew (via eBay)
Jeans: Gap Curvy
Shoes: Born Sokal (via eBay)
Necklace: Thrifted
Purse: Morelle City Bag

Quote: Daughter’s Day Blues (Picture Puffins), by Laura Pegram

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