Finding Fashion: Summer to Fall Transition

(P)inspiration Photo

(P)inspiration Outfit

Great news! Right now summer clothing is going on sale, and while the cooler weather still hasn’t quite maneuvered its way into our lives (here is CA) quite yet, most retailers have brought out their cooler weather stock. Fashionistas on a budget! If you live in a climate similar to mine, this is a GREAT time to take advantage of your favorite clothing retailers summer to fall transitions, and peruse through their sales and clearance racks! Lots of wonderful items from this last season are still available for you to purchase, so if you have had your eye on something but didn’t want to pay full price now is your chance to snatch up that special item at a discount. You could even wear it all the way through October if this heat continues.

I have to be honest… I’m conflicted. We are now about a quarter of the way through September and the temperature is still sweltering. Here in California our weekly forecast ranges from the mid 80’s all the way up to 100 degrees! STILL! Why is it so HOT!? I desperately want to pull out my knits and boots, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. So (like I said) I am conflicted. But, lucky for us I didn’t let that deter me from this Finding Fashion Challenge! Bring on that kooky weather mother nature!

For this challenge I took advantage of the sales going on and found pieces that you can wear now, but will transition nicely into the fall by pairing them with warmer clothing options like a pair of opaque tights, a great pair of heeled booties (like these from H&M), and a snugly knit scarf.summer2falltrans.

I LOVE my (P)inspiration outfit! I love that it is a great option for work, OR can be worn for a date night/girls night out, AND it will transition easily when the weather finally cools down. This outfit exudes a casual confidence, but still maintains its professional demeanor and is something that every woman needs in her closet!

Are you loving what you see here? Want to shop this look? Here is where I found it!


FINDING FASHION: Summer to Fall Transition

  • Adam Levine Women’s Long Sleeved Button Down Top- $8.99 (clearance) Kmart.com
  • Betsyville women’s over-sized retro sunglasses- $10.99 (clearance) Kmart.com
  • Jaclyn Smith women’s Clareen Mini Cross Body Bag- $16.99 Kmart.com
  • Sam & Libby Cosette City Sandal (in Fawn)- $12.24 (clearance) Target.com
  • AX Paris Women’s PU Midi Stone Skirt- $27.99 Kmart.com
  • Women’s Bangel Bracelet (Gold)- $4.99 (BOGO Sale) Target.com
  • Women’s Journee Collection Statement Ring- $2.99 (BOGO sale) Target.com

GRAND TOTAL: $85.18


Do you have an outfit that you just adore, but are looking for a more budget friendly option? Challenge Me! I’d LOVE to help you find that special outfit in your budget!

 

Until next time…


For this particular blog post, I utilized the sale that Target.com is/was offering- Buy 1 Get 1 50% off on all clothing, shoes & accessories. That is where my accessory pricing came from. Please see Target.com for their particular details. Every clothing and accessory item mentioned here is/was available as ofย  Sept. 18, 2015.

**PLEASE NOTE: This blog is in no way affiliated with the above mentioned retailers. These retailers and their websites are used for the sole purpose of my Finding Fashion Challenges- finding high end clothing & looks at ready to wear and budget prices.**

Bits of Bliss: DIY Simple Fall Mantle

It must officially be FALL since Starbucks is now serving their “infamous” fall favorites- the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the Salted Caramel Mocha! I’ve been waiting all year for this! (This is one happy girl, right here!) So, since I will probably be spending a good deal of my monthly budget on unnecessary coffee treats for myself, I don’t foresee having a large decorating budget in my near future. But that’s OK! I found some really great options for a fireplace mantel decoration that uses a minimal budget, and offers maximum impact! I am super excited to show you what I was able to do with around $35.

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Here is our fireplace pre-fall deco (and some toys). I LOVE this wall clock! It is such a great statement piece that shifts easily from season to season for a nice year-round look that doesn’t overwhelm.

Fall is such a great opportunity to allow some vibrant color into your home, especially if your home spends most of the year wearing a pretty neutral palate- as ours generally does. I personally like having a very flexible decorating palate in my home. It lends me the opportunity to change my “theme” relatively easily without spending a fortune on my design aesthetic. I couldn’t even imaging changing wall colors and furniture every few months just to follow the seasons. Could you?

Simple Fall Mantle Decor

The fireplace and mantel with fall decor.

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Flickering Candles and fun Pumpkins!

I decided to challenge myself (similar to my Finding Fashion challenges) to get really creative and find something that looks like it could be relatively high end, chic, fall appropriate, and visually exciting without spending an excessive amount of money on it. I had a lot of fun just shopping for decorations as a focal point rather than accent pieces or misc. accessories at places like the Dollar Store and in the dollar section at Target. Interestingly, I was actually finding things that I wouldn’t typically give a second thought to.

This was a necessary challenge for me (as an aspiring interior designer), because it is easy to shop for home decor at places like Home Goods, World Market, IKEA (my personal favorite), Macys, Kirkland’s, Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, as well as the multitude of amazing home decor stores you can find online that are filled to the brim with beautiful decorations. It is definitely NOT easy (or at least it wasn’t initially for me) to go into places like the Dollar Stores or shop in the dollar section to find items that didn’t look cheap and flimsy to use as a centerpiece.

I feel like this was pretty much a success! Now, I LOVE this mantel! At first I was hesitant about the pumpkins because they weren’t as large as I had initially wanted, and I don’t usually go for items that can verge on a “gothic” type of style. But they are so cool looking and pretty unique, so I think they work well for the fall decor “vibe” I was going for. Plus, they can transition into the Halloween season very easily. I love the simplicity of the decor, as well as the vibrant pops of color from the flower arrangement and leaf garland. I love how the burlap zigzag and diamond decorated pumpkins exude a bit of contrast and allow for a modern sophistication on a timeless fall staple. I love how burlap is the common factor between the flowers and the pumpkins (not something I would have originally picked out). Not only is it child friendly, the decor only cost me $35! (*High five*)

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Truthfully, I really do LOVE the final outcome (how many times have I said “love” now?). It’s bold without being too in your face, and minimal enough that it draws you in to take a closer look. It’s not too Halloween-y and exudes a fun, whimsical, bright, modern vibe on classic fall decor. Just what I was going for! Next project up for me is the dining room!


SO, whats the breakdown you ask?

  • Painted Burlap Pumpkins- $3 each (4 total) from Target (in the dollar section): $12
  • Mason Jars- $1 each (4 total) Dollar Store: $4
  • Red & Gold Flickering Candles (2 per pack- 2 packs) $1 each- Dollar Store: $2
  • Leaf Garland (on mantel and in vase) $1 each (3 total)- Dollar Store: $3
  • Round Green Vase $7- Home Goods
  • Flowers and leafs- $1 per bunch (6 total) Dollar Store: $6
  • Burlap Ribbon- $1 per roll (1 total) Dollar Store: $1

GRAND TOTAL: $35


What do you think? Do you have any inexpensive decorating success stories? What are some of your favorite places to shop for home decor?

 

Until next time…

Finding Fashion: JEANS EDITION!

Since I haven’t done a Finding Fashion post in a while, I thought what better way to segue from summer to fall than with a jeans edition! Jeans are my absolute FAVORITE clothing staple. I wear them almost every day, especially when the weather gets cooler. No matter how you wear them- dark wash, sand blasted, flared, distressed, skinny, boyfriend cut, high waist, boot cut, etc… jeans almost always look great, and it really feels like there are endless possibilities and styles to choose from no matter what shape you are.FF-Jeans Edition

Before I begin, I want to preface that this isn’t my usual Finding Fashion where I find an inspiration outfit, and then go and find you a similar outfit for a lower prices at the discount type of stores. I’d like to venture into a possible “fashion faux pas”, and suggest (for the sake of a Finding Fashion challenge) that you step out of your comfort zone of mall and box store shopping and try searching through the racks of consignment shops, thrift stores, antique stores as well places like Salvation Army & Goodwill for your next pair of jeans.

WAIT… WHAT!?ย 

Yes, you read that right, and NO I am totally NOT joking with you.

During my years as a costume designer for a small community theater I became a pretty savvy shopper and could scour vintage, thrift, antique, consignment, and second hand stores for unique, one of a kind costume pieces, as well as modern outfits and accessories since the theater I worked for offered me very small budgets to costume their productions. I got really great at spotting a valuable clothing item for a great deal. Every so often I would come across a fabulous article of clothing for me as well! (Hey! You gotta keep the shopping fun!) Most of the time I thrift store shop, I search for a great pair of jeans. In all of my years of shopping, my most favorite pairs of jeans have been the ones that I have “thrifted”. I have learned that not only are they amazingly priced, they are always worn in and comfortable, and I am never worried that they will shrink in the wash because I know they have already been through a washing machine at least once or twice. So the way they fit in the store is how they are going to stay! Surprisingly, I always get the most compliments on my thrift store finds!

Jeans

My favorite jeans (Gap)- I found them at a thrift store for only $4!

If you are still not convinced, and keep thinking to yourself “uhhhh yuck!”, I’d like to offer another benefit of thrift store shopping for jeans- you can find DESIGNER jeans at a fraction of the cost. During my shopping excursions, I personally have come across the brands Hudson, 7 For All Mankind, J. Crew, Baby Phat, DKNY, Express, Gap, Guess, and Levis just to name a few. Of course there are piles of Target, WalMart, and miscellaneous brands of jeans there as well, but you never know, maybe you will find a new favorite brand. There have even been a few times that I have come across a brand new pair of jeans with their original tags still on, but for me those instances have been very few and far between. Additionally, if you feel like doing your own jean distressing or altering, it hurts a little less knowing that the jeans you buy from a thrift store were only a few dollars as opposed to the stores full prices.

I still love shopping at main stream stores, (and will continue to do so) but I hope that this inspires you to expand your shopping repertoire and venture into a consignment shop or thrift store and spend some time looking through the racks. You never know, you just may find yourself a special gem!

Until Next Time…


Advocating a trip to the thrift store to go shopping for jeans is nothing new for me, but it may be a new idea for you. If shopping at a thrift store is a new venture for you, and you are still on the fence about it, you may be more convinced by what Empowered Dollar says about consignment shopping. Also visit treehugger.com to see what they have to say. You can also check out the article- Embracing the Thrift-Store Ethic: 18 Top Tips For Buying Used Clothes.

Inspired by “Kids Were Here”

Lunch

This image is a pretty typical snapshot during our days. Dinosaurs, Hot Wheels, plastic bugs,ย  jungle/safari animals and many more have all graced our table when it is time to eat. I like to think that we are not the only family who has such unconventional table guests. (Life is always more interesting and fun when you surround yourself with different personalities anyway!) Moments like this one are SO special to me, and I always love sharing them! After I take the picture, I tend to then look at it with an editing eye. I think to myself: how do I edit this picture to show the best parts, hide the rest? I think most of us feel like this. Sharing only the pretty, nice, or artistic by rationing out only those images of your life that look lovely, and cropping out the rest of it. I am very much guilty of this!! While it is all well and good to share those “pristine” moments, a majority of us parents know (that if you have kids living in your house) your home is just NOT that well organized, clean, and beautiful all of the time. (Or we are secretly jealous and thinking to ourselves: How the heck do they keep their house SO nice!? It’s NOT fair! Who is their house keeper and what is their number?!)

I bring all of this up because I came across a blog/website titled Kids Were Here. The basic idea behind the blog states “34 Photographers from around the world share their unconventional, yet universal perspective on what life with children looks like”. I couldn’t help but be inspired by each of the photographers p.o.v. and their unique perspectives on what life with their children looks like. I enjoyed seeing the moments documented after the kids were apparently there, and the aftermath of childhood that was left in their wake. It was refreshing to see that I am not the only mom in this world who continuously struggles to keep her life organized and clutter free…with less than stellar results. ;-P

Needless to say I was inspired to share what our life looks like after the “Kids Were Here”.

Dino Couch

Storytime

Table & Stool Timeout

Library Shoppingcart

Magazine Slaughter

Enter at Your Own Risk

Bathroom Bliss

Glancing around our house and looking at these “aftermath” moments was a sweet reminder to me of the beautiful little boy that has stolen our hearts. For me, most often, his little piles and messes really stress me out because (like any other parent) I like for our home to be picked up and clutter free. I like how my home looks when it is clean and HGTV magazine ready. I like to be able to sit down at the end of the day and enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of tea while watching a show- not cleaning up toys, crayons, and all things kids. Yet, after seeing the “Kids Were Here” blog it gave me a new perspective on my son and his little messes. I grew to appreciate them (maybe just a tiny bit) because it made me realize that there is in fact a kid LIVING here. He is growing, learning, exploring, experiencing, making and having adventures, making messes, finding out who God made him to be, and enjoying himself all the while!

And guess what? I get to be there right along with him, messes and all. โค


 

Until next time…