July Budget Update

Friday, July 29, 2016



Well, here we are at the end of July! How/when did this happen? It's also been bittersweet because Facebook keeps reminding me that a year ago today I was on a cruise to the Bahamas with Alex and my family...and today I'm working. Anyways, I'm pretty excited for the weekend because it's going to be pretty laid back, and it's the last laid back weekend we're going to have before August which is going to be absolutely jam-packed (but I kind of thrive on that). Anyways, on this month's budget post!

If you missed it, I wrote in this post about my monthly budget here where I have laid out a quarterly budget of $800.

Here is how the year is panning out so far:

January: $0 (I went a month without shopping, one of my 101 in 1001 goals!)
February: $392
March: $517
Total Q1: $909 (overspent in Q1 by $109)

April: $134
May: $266
June: $475

Total Q2: $875 (overspent by $75)

For Q3 & Q4 I decided to raise my overall budget by $200 a quarter. I have done a closet clean-out and I'm getting rid of even more worn-out clothing that has seen better days. I will be replacing these items with new items which make sense in my current lifestyle. I am looking for quality pieces as well. For this reason I think it makes sense for me to raise my budget.

See all 2016 additions to my wardrobe here

July Purchases:

J.Crew Gingham Mini Skirt: $88, on sale for $35.99 (still on sale!) 


M.Gemi Capri Sandals: Sold out currently, but love these; $199, on sale for $99


Leith Cocoon Caridgan: $75, on sale for $45

Gap Factory Lightweight Sweater: $19

Gap Factory Cut-off Jean Shorts: $44.99, on sale for $15

From my Stitch Fix box (full review here): LOVEAPPELA - Torie Knit Dress: $68

Total Spent in July: $418

Total left for Q3: $584

July almost turned into a really bad month for the budget, it ended up being just a medium-bad month. I returned a bunch of things I ordered which just didn't work out and I hit a couple of good sales. I am looking forward to August because I will probably shop a little for vacation and then in September I'll be shopping for fall. 

How did you do this month?

Linking up with Fran

Follow along with Laura on Bloglovin, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, & Twitter

TBT: Memories of France

Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's hard to believe its been over five years since I spent my semester abroad in France. It truly was one of my favorite periods of my life and helped me grow and learn in so many ways, both in and outside of the classroom.
First off, I went to Paris without knowing a single person. I was on exchange at SciencesPo but no other students from Tulane went over my semester. Not only that, my school does not have dorms and therefore we had to secure our own apartment in Paris to live in. While at first this seemed REALLY scary (especially because I found my apartment online and wired the money to my landlord before leaving the United States, a HUGE leap of faith) it turned out to be THE BEST thing ever.
I think studying abroad is one of the best experiences you can have in college, and everyone should take advantage if possible. Studying abroad not only brushed up on my language skills but it taught me to make new friends, come out of my comfort zone, and learn confidence and independence that I never thought I had.

That being said, I'm so so so excited that I'm going back to France, in less than a month! While I would love to move back to Europe I will take a 10-day vacation. I decided it'd be fun to do another TBT travel post (like this one I did in October about my time in Peru) and go through some photos that bring back fond memories of my time in France.

Why go back to France? Why not go somewhere else? Well, while Alex and I considered going to a new country, he has never been to France. It's such a special place to me that I really wanted to take Alex and show him around Paris, and explore a new part of the country I haven't seen yet. So, look forward to a couple more posts about packing, favorite spots, etc. in the weeks leading up to our trip. If you can't tell I'm very excited, seriously is it time to go yet?

One last note, when going through my old photos for this post I found this picture from 2011 in Paris, ironic since Pokemon Go has made it that they really ARE everywhere now, anyone else playing?


Follow along with Laura on Bloglovin, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, & Twitter

Stitch Fix Box #2 - Review & Try-On

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

First off, how is it already the end of July? I feel like summer is just FLYING by and I don't know how I feel about it? This past weekend I had a work event on Saturday in Wilmington, so I drove down early to shop at Nordstrom in Delaware before the event and see if I wanted to scoop up any fall looks on sale (#Nsale). Unfortunately, the booties I had my eye on were sold out EVERYWHERE in my size, but I did score this cocoon cardigan which I'm already in love with. 

Anyways, if you have been reading for a little while you'll remember that last month I scheduled my first Stitch Fix! I really loved the experience and my stylist Shawna is great! I decided to get another fix this summer and see what other pieces they sent me. 

That fix arrived last Friday and it seriously feels like Christmas morning opening up my fix! I'll show you everything I got and let you know what I'm keeping, but first off here's a brief summary of how Stitch Fix works for those of you who don't know (for those of you familiar with the process, you can skip this part):

1// First fill out your style profile. They will ask you about your sizing, style preference, budget, etc. I really liked how detailed this quiz is because I was able to let them know how tall I am, what colors I usually don't wear, and other random things which will help them pick better pieces for me. You can even link a fashion board on Pinterest for them to get a better sense of your style.

2// Schedule your fix! You will be charged a $20 styling fee but that amount will come off of any clothing items you decide to keep! You can also choose to sign up for monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly fixes! I choose to not subscribe so I can just ask for a fix whenever I feel I'd like to try something different. It's whatever works best for your style and budget! You can also leave your stylist a note when you schedule your fix, letting them know about upcoming events (I told them about my vacations planned for the summer), if there's something you don't want (I asked them to only send clothing and no blue jeans), or anything else! 

3// When you fix arrives try everything on and decide what you like! It's great because you can see if the pieces work with other things in your closet. Also you can have some time to try them on in the comfort of your own home. If you decide to keep all 5 items you will receive 25% off your entire fix!

4// Check out online and send back any unwanted items in a prepaid mailing envelope, it's so easy! Additionally, Stitch Fix includes styling cards which will give you different ideas for ways to wear the pieces!

If you're interested in trying Stitch Fix I'd love if you'd use one of my referral links so I can get credit...and keep getting fixes to review for you all :). 

Anyways, on to what I received in my second box! I let my stylist know about an upcoming wedding I'm attending and my big trip to trip France. I also let her know that I'd like at least one piece I could wear to work. I also pinned a lot on my Pinterest board with ideas so she could get a sense of my style. I think she did a great job again. I was on the fence about a couple of the items, but since I did some other shopping this month I decided to be more conservative with my budget.

1// LOVEAPPELA - Torie Knit Dress - Size Large - $68 - kept
stitch_fix_review_and_try_on_july_2016

stitch_fix_review_and_try_on_july_2016

stitch_fix_review_and_try_on_july_2016

I loved this piece as soon as I pulled it out of the box. The length is long enough to wear to work, it's comfortable, and I love the striped pattern. Win win win!

2 & 3. Market and Spruce - Poplin Eyelet Detail Top & Margaret M  - Sophie Printed Trim Detail Straight Leg Pant - both size large - $58 (top) $98 (pants)

stitch_fix_review_and_try_on_july_2016

stitch_fix_review_and_try_on_july_2016

stitch_fix_review_and_try_on_july_2016
 I apologize because it was probably 100 degrees when we were taking these photos and it was about to storm, so I didn't get the chance to iron this top out and make it look as cute as it is. I was really on the fence about the top because I do like the cut-out bottom detail and I don't have many white tops. That said, I don't think I could wear it to work because of the cut-out bottom so I decided to return.

The pants my stylist sent me as they are the same cut as the shorts I loved from my first fix. While they are comfortable, I thought they fell a little short on my leg and didn't quite flatter my legs. So unfortunately they went back.

4 // THML - Armide Babydoll Top - size large - $54 - returned

stitch_fix_review_and_try_on_july_2016

stitch_fix_review_and_try_on_july_2016

stitch_fix_review_and_try_on_july_2016
 I like how cool and breezy this top was, and it was very comfortable. I like that my stylist sent me something I normally wouldn't gravitate towards during my normal shopping, that's why I'm doing this service anyways! However, the top cut weird on my chest, I think it'd work better for someone with a smaller chest (like A or B) or someone that does not want to accentuate their waist and prefers to accentuate other areas. 

5// LOVEAPPELLA - Topeka Crossover Back Knit Top - size large - $54 - returned

stitch_fix_review_and_try_on_july_2016

stitch_fix_review_and_try_on_july_2016

stitch_fix_review_and_try_on_july_2016
I was on the fence about sending this one back as well. My stylist actually sent this to me because she noted I had pinned it on my style board! While I like the color and look of this top, the sleeves were a little itchy and not super comfortable. For that reason I don't see myself reaching for this and I decided to send it back. Hopefully I won't regret it!

What did you think about my second fix? What would you keep or return? 

Follow along with Laura on Bloglovin, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, & Twitter


Five Four Club Review & Guest Post by my Boyfriend

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Hi everyone! I have a little bit of a different post for you all today, a guest post from my boyfriend, Alex! If you read here a lot you'll notice I just tried my first Stitch Fix box in June (and my second fix is scheduled to arrive today, yay!). I was talking to Alex about the service and commented it'd be nice if there was a similar service for men, especially since most men hate shopping. Alex decided to sign up for a service called Five Four Club and I asked if he'd review it for the blog since I think other men and some of my female readers' husbands, boyfriends, brothers, etc might be interested in the company! So without further ado here is Alex's post.

five_four_club_review

Hello people of the internet, I'm Alex, Laura's boyfriend.  If you're a regular on here I'm sure you've seen my work as I take most of the pictures that Laura features on here.  Well today Laura decided to let me write my own post about a new clothing delivery company that I just started using, Five Four Club.


So, here's how it works, it's only 60 dollars a month and I got five pieces of clothes, which I think is great value.  Shipping is free, but there are no returns for different clothes; you can however exchange sizes if something doesn't fit you right. When you first log into the site it'll ask you a few questions about your style. you can pick from Forward, Casual, Classic, or a mix of all three. For my first box I decided to go with mix so I could get a feel overall of what the company has to offer.  Next, they'll ask if you want Vibrant and Rich, or Dark and Muted for your color scheme, I went with Vibrant and Rich.  After that they ask your top size, ranging from small to triple XL, I'm a large.  After that the questions shift to your pants size, from 29 to 44, and what style you want Slim, Straight, or Relaxed. I'm a 34 and I went with a Straight fit.  So without further ado, here is what I got in the box.

five_four_club_review
The first thing I tried on was a classic white collared shirt.  I think this is something every guy should have in their closet, as it really screams summer to me.  It was a good fit overall.
five_four_club_summer_box_review
Next we have a white graphic shirt and a pair of swim trunks.  Again both fit very well.  I liked the look and feel of the shirt as I could see myself wearing it while I'm relaxing at home or for a night on the town. The swim trunks were nice too. I liked that they ended just above my knees.
five_four_club_summer_review
Next is a blue Henley shirt.  Laura says this is her favorite piece that I got and I can see why.  Definitely a shirt she will approve of when we go out. I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but again it's a great fit.

five_four_club_box_review


And last we have a pair of no show socks.  They say left and right on them, which is good for me as I constantly forget which feet my socks need to go on.



So overall I would 100 percent recommend Five Four Club.  As I've said everything that I got fits me really well.  The quality of the clothing is really good too, and at 60 dollars a month it's a really great deal too. You can cancel at any time, but I will definitely be a monthly customer of this quality service.  Also, they have their own exclusive store where you can buy clothes from their previous months box, all at half off their original prices.  So if this sounds like something you'd like to try, or ladies, if this sounds like something your boyfriend or husband would like as a gift I have great news. If you follow this link, you can get your first box for 30 dollars, 50 percent off.  So that's everything from me, I hope you enjoyed my post, Laura will be back soon, bye everyone.

Pink Summer Sweater

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

summer_sweater
When the sun begins to set and the nights begin to cool down there's nothing better than a lightweight sweater to wear in the summer. I am always cold so I'm actually shocked that I don't have more lightweight summer sweaters
summer_sweater
summer_sweater
We took these pictures at my favorite park, Peace Valley Park, on my way to my parents' house on Saturday afternoon. It had been a rough morning (read this post for my information on that) and so it was really nice to walk near the lake in one of my favorite spots growing up. Fun fact, I actually learned how to drive in the parking lot of this park!
summer_sweater
summer_sweater
I paired this lightweight sweater that I scored on mega-sale with my new favorite cut-off jean shorts. I know this outfit will take me into the fall on those Indian summer days and cool nights. 
summer_sweater
summer_sweater

I'm also kind of surprised I don't own more pink in my wardrobe. Looking at these pictures I really like how it pops against the denim shorts! I am also a Phi Mu alumna and our colors are pink and white, so I should probably start buying some more pink tops!

What do you think of this look? I hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

Get the Look: 

Outfit: Lightweight V-neck Sweater // Destroyed Boyfriend Shorts // M. Gemi Sandals (use this link for $40 off!) // Seersucker Baseball Cap (a gift from my friend Katherine, but you can order a White Elephant Nantucket hat in red online)  // Pearl-back studs 


Follow along with Laura on Bloglovin, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, & Twitter

 
Design by Studio Mommy (© Copyright 2015)