Chambray, Lace Shorts, & Crop Top

Last weekend I went on a road trip down to Indiana and wanted to find a comfortable, yet stylish outfit to wear on the road.

You’re probably wondering why dress cute rather than wear sweats? Well, after my semester abroad in Italy in 2012, I stopped wearing sweats and yoga pants to class, out in public, etc. It is socially forbidden and inappropriate to wear the “American look” of sweats and yoga pants. The European culture is used to dressing up business casual and nothing below that in public. If I was going to spend a semester abroad, I wanted to fully accept/understand the culture and share my appreciation for the culture. I dressed up for class and traveling every day for 4 months, and since then, I always find a reason to dress stylish (even if that means finding a way to be comfy)!

Outfit Details:

  • Xhiliration blue jean chambray button up shirt bought from Target– clearance for $15
  • Forever21 navy sheer crop top-$10
  • Charlotte Russe white lace shorts-$20
  • Owl necklace purchased on the streets in Barcelona from a vendor
  • Compass shaped tiny gold necklace given to me as a gift and was bought from Etsy
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Stripes & Coral, Perfect Summer Look

Here’s another outfit from the archives that I have dug up to post about just because I love this look! This was an outfit that I put together last summer, however, I would still wear it again today because it’s definitely still in style.

Stripes are always a great summer look, especially blue and white (looks good on most people as well)! I wore this outfit for a family dinner in downtown Milwaukee at the Harbor House restaurant along Lake Michigan.

Outfit Details:

I also have paired this outfit with black skinny pants & coral flats for another occasion….

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Outfit Details:

  • Paper Crane brand blue & white striped sheer top (see above for info)
  • Rachel Zoe brand coral leather flats bought from Milwaukee boutique Faye’s– clearance for $45
    • Shoes were originally over $250 but I got them as the last pair during their summer sale!
  • Forever21 black cotton pants with gold zipper front pockets (thicker than leggings)-$15

 

Chevron Long Sleeved Dress

I’ve got a collection of outfits I want to talk about that I bought several months ago, but didn’t have this blog up and running at the time (the fashion on a budget portion at least). This outfit in particular is one that I love because it can be worn year round, can be worn dressy or more casual occasions.

These photos in particular are from last Christmas with my family =) No worries, I have worn this for several other occasions as well! I also curled my hair with a straightener, to learn how to do that, look at my older blog post on how to curl with a flat iron!

Outfit Details: 

  • Charlotte Russe blue & tan chevron dress – $20 (bought last fall)
  • Francesca’s Collections blue chunky necklace- bought on clearance for $10
    • This necklace was on clearance because it looked like there was a jewel missing, but I looked close enough to realize part of it just had come unhooked and I made them fix it for me, and still got it for clearance!
  • Target tall lace boot socks- $10 for a pack of 2 pair
  • XOXO Marni Riding boots in brown purchased from a Groupon deal last fall –$20
    • These were actually priced at $45 on Groupon Goods deals, but that day they had an additional discount and I also had Groupon bucks from referring others to the site, so I ended up getting a really cheap deal!
  • Plain sheer tights

Black Caged Bustier & Maxi Slit Skirt

Sorry that it’s been a while since I posted last, I was in Indiana for a long weekend visiting some old friends and campers of mine at Culver Summer Camps. I had an amazing weekend with some of my best friends that I grew up with and I was able to wear a bunch of my outfits that I don’t wear to the office (like this one)!

When I was in Italy, I stumbled upon this store called Brandy Melville thanks to the Italian family that I hung out with. They have such simple, yet adorable pieces, and I finally ordered something offline two years ago that has gotten minimal use (because I never know where to wear this black bustier).

My Outfit Details:

  • Black caged Chiyo top bustier from Brandy Melville$19   (Order it online here!)
  • Gray slit maxi skirt from Forever 21$10
  • Black and silver triangle necklace from Charlotte Russe$10
  • White strapped thong sandals from GAP (purchased several years ago from the outlet mall)
  • Brown small Longchamp purse purchased from Longchamp store in Germany –$80
    • Longchamp bags are a tad bit pricey, but since they are made in Paris and I bought this one in Germany, it was cheaper than in the U.S.. I use them religiously and I happen to have 3 different Longchamp bags in different sizes
    • Here is the size I got

Vintage Cross-body Purse with Gold Chain Strap

Recently, I broke my favorite leather cross-body purse that I bought in Italy and I was heartbroken. Plus, I didn’t have any other black cross-body bags, and it went well with every outfit when I would go out. I knew I needed to buy a new one, but didn’t want to spend the money on a new purse with other financial responsibilities to take care of.

I was out and about one afternoon stopping by various garage and estate sales when I found a small black purse with a gold chain strap to it, and I LOVED it for only $3.00! A week later, I went to a few other garage sales and I found another one just like it, but larger and thought I would buy it as well for only $2.50!

Total cost for BOTH purses was only $5.50!

Fabric Laundry Hamper

A while ago I spent an entire day roaming around garage sales just looking and I ended up finding a barely used fabric laundry hamper which was super cute. I’ve seen similar laundry hampers sold at places like Kohl’s or Bed Bath and Beyond for at least $30.00. I found this one for only $5.00 at a garage sale, and all I had to do was throw it into the wash to make sure it was clean and like new!

 

Vintage Chevron Painted Table

A week ago I posted a blog about some furniture that I bought from a garage sale and Goodwill, and shortly after had another post showing how I repainted them.

After thoroughly taking a look at not only my blog post, but the end table as well, I felt that I needed something more to the blue and white table (seen below). It just felt too plain for me..

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I then decided to add a silver chevron pattern on the side panels of the table, and I think it turned out great!

Project Tips & Info:

  • For those who didn’t read my prior post about this table, I bought this old sewing table from a garage sale for $5.00 and then sanded and painted it
  • Draw your chevron pattern, a tip that I found on Pinterest is to draw it this way for perfect lines
  • Once you have taped your furniture appropriately, make sure to erase your pencil marks and begin to paint!
  • After a few layers of paint, allow to dry for 24 hours and then remove the tape
  • Erase all other pencil marks and paint over if needed
  • Add a final coat of sealer and you are all done!

DIY Throw Pillows

As many people know, I have been going crazy with DIY home decor since I am going to be eventually moving and getting my own apartment within the next month or so. Throw pillows are extremely costly these days and as a recent college grad, I cannot afford to pay $10 or more for EACH pillow! After doing some Pinterest hunting for DIY throw pillows, I found several ideas:

I also did some regular searching on the internet as well for other general ideas and kind of combined them all to make them myself.

DIY Project Tips & Info:

  • Instead of buying fabric from the store, I bought a body pillow cover & table runner to make my pillows
    • Turquoise body pillow cover bought on clearance at Kohl’s for $9.99 
    • Gray table runner bought at TJ Maxx HomeGoods for $9.99
  • For the gray pillows:
    • I bought two old pillows from Goodwill ($4.00 for both combined) and pulled out the stuffing
    • I cut the table runner from the middle so I would only have to sew one side (did this for both pillows)
    • After stuffing the pillows, I sewed the open end shut
    • I still had enough fabric to make two more pillows, but chose to just sew the ends up and make it a short table runner
  • For the turquoise pillows:
    • I used two pillow inserts from old pillows at my house
    • I cut the body pillow cover from the middle so I would only have to sew one side, just like the table runner
    • One pillow has a zipper on it so it was much easier to insert the stuffing than the other pillows because I didn’t have to sew it back up (if you want a zipper on your pillows for easy cleaning, look at the pin above)
    • I turned the case inside out and sewed most of it shut, turned it back out and stuffed the pillow
    • After stuffing, I sewed the open part of the pillow by hand at first and then with machine

My final results turned out much better than I thought because I am not the greatest sewer. The gray pillows are smaller than the turquoise ones and I am completely okay with that. (I knew this when I compared the size of the fabrics when I bought them).

I made 4 pillows and a table runner for a total cost of $24.00!

Oh, and I forgot to mention….I also ended up giving in to buying a pre-made throw pillow because it was on clearance at Target for $7.00. There was only one pillow left and I thought it would look great with my other patterned pillows! Such a bargain!

 

Coral Blazer & White Lace Tank

I’m all about adding some color to my work outfits lately, and loved this look. The best part about this outfit is that it can be worn as business casual or something more laid back if paired with some jeans. Oversized sweaters, cardigans and blazers are great when you know how what to wear with them. Ideally, you’re best wearing it with a tank of some sort underneath. I usually wear a more flow-y tank, but this time I changed it up.

Outfit Details:

  • Sag Harbor oversized coral blazer purchased from St. Vincent de Paul’s (removed the shoulder pads)- $6
  • Pins & Needles white lace tank originally from Urban Outfitters– given to me by a friend
  • Nine West jade colored loafers bought brand new from Goodwill$4 
  • Gold owl necklace purchased at a garage sale- $2
  • Ann Taylor LOFT khaki pants (check out my last post) –$15

Vintage Picture Frame Collage

Well this is a bit of a different post because I didn’t ever pin this project on my Pinterest page, but rather, I kind of came up with the idea myself after browsing the internet for vintage interior design & up-cycling furniture. I did find some posts on Pinterest to give you a general idea of what I found on the internet though…

I also found something similar at World Market that gave me some “Pin-speration” 

I have a huge passion for photography and after spending a semester abroad in Florence, Italy, and taking several THOUSAND photos, I wanted to do something with them. I have a habit of taking photos but doing nothing with them except for in my photo classes in high school and Italy, so I thought this would be perfect!

What you need:

Project Information & Tips:

  • I printed about 30 of my European photos all in black and white and measured all of my frames before printing them
  • I printed them at home on my mom’s photo printer (I tend to get accused of illegally trying to print photos at Walgreens because they think a professional took them. I guess it’s a compliment as an photographer who just does it as a hobby!)
  • I laid out the frames on the floor to get an idea of what I wanted it to look like
  • I don’t have a job or new apartment to move into yet, so the layout seen above is just on my floor to get an idea of how I will want it (will post later when I do!)