Fashion Friday: Budget Buys

Instead of focusing my FF post this week on an outfit I wore, I wanted to talk about shopping on a budget. Because let’s be real…A) I’m a girl who LOVES to shop (I’m even down for just window shopping) and B) I definitely don’t have the money to blow $100 on an outfit.

So how do I keep my closet updated while keeping my wallet happy?

Shop sales. Get to know when your favorite stores have sales. Some do these weekly, others have big semi-annual events where you can score everything in the store for a fraction of the price. Sign up for emails (yes, they can be annoying, but they’re really informative) so you know when the best days to shop are. And consider shopping online sometimes. I personally prefer buying all my stuff in person when I can, but sometimes stores offer online exclusive items or special sales.

I bought these over Memorial Day weekend, when I knew big sales were going on.

I bought these over Memorial Day weekend, when I knew big sales were going on.

Stick with the clearance section. I don’t know the last time I bought something full price. I live for the clearance section! It’s tempting to want to buy the latest and greatest new items, but it makes a lot more financial sense to hold off and wait for them to go on clearance. This sometimes means shopping out of season. For example, I just scored a striped cardigan from the Gap for $15 (originally priced at $50). Can I wear it now? Probably not with the 90+ degree weather we’ve been having (it’ll be good for my air-conditioned office though). But I’ll be happy to have it come fall, when sweaters are full price again.

Double up on dealsAmerican Eagle is a store that offers this perk a lot. They’ll often have 50-70% off already clearance-priced items. That’s how I got a jumpsuit for $13 and a dress for $12! Go shopping when stores are marking down their clearance section and you’ll make out big.

I love this jumpsuit even more, knowing I bought it for a fraction of the original price.

I love this jumpsuit even more, knowing I bought it for a fraction of the original price.

Don’t just buy something because it’s cheap. Forever 21 is a great store for deals, don’t get me wrong. But it can also be tempting to buy something just because it’s a steal. Who wouldn’t want a jacket for just $20 or a dress for under $10? You still need to think about if the item is something you truly need for your closet, or if it’s just an impulse buy. Make sure you have something in mind to wear it with, and that you don’t already own something very similar.

Consider the rest of your closet. Like I just mentioned, think through your purchase. I always do this when I’m about to buy something. I take a mental tour through my closet and think about what I already own to pair with the new item. It’s okay to sometimes plan on buying something else to wear with said item, but you shouldn’t justify it every time. It’s a good idea to have at least one or two pieces you know you can already wear with it, so it won’t sit in your closet for months.

Some fun new finds that I know I can wear now AND later.

Some fun new finds that I know I can wear now AND later.

What are your smart shopping tips? 

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Fashion Friday: Tickled Pink

Aside from a very brief tomboy phase in late elementary school, when I professed my hatred for anything even a little girly, my favorite color has always been pink. I have pink shoes and purses, pink office supplies, a pink hair dryer and I was thisclose to getting a pink Kia Soul when I was getting a car for college. You could say I’m a little obsessed with the color pink. 

I also have a decent amount of pink in my closet, but much of it is brighter pink, like more of a magenta shade. I’ve never been really into baby pink but when I got a sheer button-down in that shade from American Eagle for Valentine’s Day (from my mom, what a sweet Valentine!) I fell in love. Light pink is perfect for spring, and it pairs especially well with black, which is one of my favorite pink pairings.

Look at my thigh gap haha but seriously excuse my weird pose. I always have problems trying to show my full outfit in this mirror.

Look at my thigh gap haha but seriously excuse my weird pose. I always have problems trying to show my full outfit in this mirror. 

This outfit works for casual things, like running errands or hanging out but it can easily be dressed up by exchanging the black leggings for skinny black pants and strappy heels. I love the shirt because it’s sheer and see-through (I was wearing a matching pink cami underneath) so it’s great for warmer spring days but you also won’t freeze in it if you wear it to the office. And it’s the perfect fit, just a little loose without being sloppy.

Left: jeweled friendship bracelet (American Eagle), white watch (American Eagle). Right: pink heart pendant (Forever 21).

Left: jeweled friendship bracelet (American Eagle), white watch (American Eagle). Right: pink heart pendant (Forever 21).

Jewelry is a must-have for me. I went very girly with a jeweled woven bracelet, white-and-pink watch (which BTW doesn’t work but I still wear it anyway haha I keep forgetting to get the battery changed) and a pink heart pendant necklace. My coral pink nails went great with the whole ensemble, and I dressed it up a little more with black wedge booties.

Pink sheer button-down (American Eagle), pink cami (Target), black zippered leggings (American Eagle), unpictured black wedge booties (Target).

Pink sheer button-down (American Eagle), pink cami (Target), black zippered leggings (American Eagle), unpictured black wedge booties (Target).

Some days just call for a LOT of selfies.

Some days just call for a LOT of selfies.

What are your thoughts on the color pink? Girly, fun, perfect for pairing with edgier colors, etc.?

 

WIAW: On Repeat

I’ve been eating a lot of the same things lately. That’s not to say I haven’t been trying new things/recipes, but I’ve been really feeling a few favorites this week, and I’ve been repeating them…a lot.

Banana softserves with various toppings.

Banana softserves with various toppings.

Breakfasts have been of the banana softserve variety for…ummmm…2 to 3 weeks now? Yep, this is one of the longer breakfast ruts, and I’m hoping it’ll last awhile. I love having something cold and fruity in the morning, and this fits the bill. Toppings are necessary, at least in my world, and generally homemade protein balls+homemade coconut butter lately.

Snackplates for snacks...and lunch. Full-size organic carrots, raw flax crackers, fresh pineapple+mango+golden raspberries, homemade PB&J bites, homemade guac from half an avocado.

Snack plates for snacks…and lunch. Full-size organic carrots, raw flax crackers, fresh pineapple+mango+golden raspberries, homemade PB&J bites, homemade guac from half an avocado.

Snack plates have just been super easy to throw together, and I’m loving them for lunch now too. Luckily, my snack plates have evolved from a lot of crackers and chips (I thought they were healthy because they were organic/vegan, but not so!) to mostly fresh fruits and veggies with a few ‘fun’ things that still have plenty of nutritional value. Take the flax crackers–packed with omega 3s, raw and made with lots of veggies. And the PB&J bites were a random thing I threw together in the food processor and basically made from dates, raisins and peanut flour. So good…too bad I ran out of peanut flour!

My mom's hibiscus plant is finally flowering!

My mom’s hibiscus plant is finally flowering!

As much as I loved our old house, I like our new yard because we’ve planted so many flowers, veggies and herbs. I love this hibiscus especially because it’s so tropical and smells amazing. And I’m excited because my Japanese eggplant is flowering, and my hot pepper plants are growing baby peppers!

Awkward OOTD. Only wearing glasses because my contacts bothered my eyes...stupid allergies.

Awkward OOTD. Only wearing glasses because my contacts bothered my eyes…stupid allergies.

I’m starting to feel okay with my body, at least some days. Yesterday was a bit hard, because I chose to wear a bodycon-style dress. I love it, and think it looks cute, but I always feel so self-conscious about how my stomach looks in it, especially after meals. I’ve gotta remind myself that everyone’s stomach expands after eating (duh!) and no one else notices or cares but me. Same with my arms. For some reason, they tend to be my most hated body part, and some days I think they look toned and lean, while others they look huge to me. Working through these feelings and telling myself they’re just temporary helps me avoid getting stuck in a bad body image rut.

Snack plate for snack too! Watermelon, Sunwarrior protein dip, raw zucchini with garlic gomasio (told ya I'm obsessed), raw maple walnuts, blueberries.

Snack plate for snack too! Watermelon, Sunwarrior protein dip, raw zucchini with garlic gomasio (told ya I’m obsessed), raw maple walnuts, blueberries.

Snack time snack plates are about the same as lunchtime ones, only with different veggies and fruit. I’ve been trying to get in veggies at lunch, snack and dinner and have been going strong with that for a couple of weeks. Gotta love fueling up with produce!

Raw vegan goat 'cheese'.

Raw vegan goat ‘cheese’.

I love making raw vegan cheeses. I was never a huge fan of cheese pre-veganism, but now I love homemade vegan cheeses.

Raw Goat Cheez (vegan, gluten free, raw, grain free)

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 1 hour (I recommend longer)

1-4 tbsp water (less for thicker cheez)

1/2 tsp olive oil (optional, adds Mediterranean flavor)

sea salt and black pepper, to taste

In a food processor, blend soaked and drained cashews until they begin to resemble cashew butter. Add in remaining ingredients until combined. Spoon into cheesecloth or coffee filter (this helps thicken and strain the cheez) and place in a small bowl in the fridge. Serve with flax crackers, veggies or on salads. Makes 1/4 cup.

Salads on salads on salads. Organic spinach base, organic chickpeas topped with nooch, homemade guac.

Salads on salads on salads. Organic spinach base, organic chickpeas topped with nooch, homemade guac.

I’ve been getting my daily dose of greens with dinner, in the form of salads. My greens of choice have been baby spinach and chopped romaine lettuce. I’ve been loving chickpeas on salads, guac and nooch (for taco salads), strawberries and balsamic, my raw goat cheez. Anything goes on my salads…well, almost.

Desserts have also been snackplate-y, but with more fruit. And chocolate.

Desserts have also been snackplate-y, but with more fruit. And chocolate.

I’ve either been doing Sunwarrior protein mixed with coconut water as a base for fruit+coconut butter, or mini snack plates with berries, raw cacao powder+coconut oil+a little raw local honey mixed to make a raw chocolate dip, dates and homemade protein bites. Half a Larabar with some fruit has been happening too. I haven’t been 100% raw every day, but I’m trying to stay high raw at every meal, while incorporating some non-raw sources of protein like beans. So far, it’s working for me and I like not having to be so strict with my macros. I feel like I’m eating healthier than ever, and as a result, my mindset around food and my body has been healthier as well.

 

What foods/meals have you been repeating lately?