This is normally the time of the month where I share how far I managed to stretch my clothing budget for the month. I tell you how I added up what I could spend, show you all the stuff I got, and reveal exactly how much I spent on it. Well, here’s the thing: this month is special. #1 I had more blog income than normal (go me!). #2 I got birthday presents of clothes, gift cards, and cash with which to go shopping. #3 I’m going on vacation so soon and I still have to finish packing so I don’t have time to do my usual breakdown. #4 Since it was my birthday month I just bought whatever I wanted.
So instead of all my usual detailed accounting, I’m just going to share my favorite things I added to my closet one way or another this month. For the record, I was still under budget
I’m linking up with the Budgeting Bloggers at Franish as usual! Hopefully they don’t kick me out for half-assing it this month. I think they’ll forgive me.
Apparently it is cool to tie a shirt on your waist again. I know this because I read lots of cool blogs and all the cool bloggers are casually slinging their chambrays around their middles (see Exhibits A and B). And when I see Cady Heron wearing army pants and flip flops, I want to get army pants and flip flops.
So I tried tying my favorite chambray shirt around my waist with this outfit on Saturday (not really a business casual look), and it did NOT look right, you guys. I mean, what do you do with the collar? It made my butt look lumpy when I tucked it under, but if I didn’t tuck it under it looked equally ridiculous. Even from the front, I just looked like a mess. It was too much fabric for my frame, I think. I just looked like I had a denim cape on my ass – the saddest super hero ever.
Not one to admit defeat, I thought I might have better luck with a long-sleeved t-shirt. I was right! Less bulky, and more fun. It was even functional because I went to the grocery store later that day, and we all know grocery stores are minus a million degrees year-round. So this cool kid threw on her extra layer and stayed warm. See what I did there?
Heads up: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Macy’s and Shopathome.com. Thanks for letting me make money from blogging sometimes.
Why hello there, it’s your good friend Sarah just reminding you that Back to School shopping is in full swing. For my fellow members of the non-student, non-parent club, remember that there’s no wrong reason to go Back to School shopping. Sure, a lot of the big sales are at kids’ stores, but don’t forget to take advantage of the department store sales in your department! We’re in that sweet spot of the season where you can get great deals on the summer clearance stuff as well as the new fall stuff.
Right now, for example, Macy’s has a few different promotions going on:
Get an additional 20% off in most departments (some brand exclusions though) with the code BTS.
Get up to 70% off in the clearance section — just don’t go nuts buying crap you don’t need!
Or if you’re looking ahead, you can get 30% off select coats. Yes, I KNOW. But it’ll be that time before you know it!
FYI, you might notice the links above all go through Shopathome, which is a free service you can use to earn cash back (yes, actual money) on your online purchases from a ton of big retailers like Macy’s. The cash back offer from Macy’s today is 8%! No pressure from me whatsoever to sign up, but if you’re interested in being an even more savvy shopper than you already are, my girl Kimberly at Penny Pincher Fashion explains a little more about Shopathome here!
You guys probably think I know everything there is to know about fashion and trends and dressing well, right? And if you don’t think that…WHY THE HELL NOT? WHY DON’T YOU LIKE ME?
Just kidding. Sort of.
One trendy fashiony thing I’ve never been good at is layering dainty necklaces. I like the idea of it and I’ve always wanted to try it but I really had no idea how to start. But earlier this month I was shopping the BaubleBar sale (because I really wanted those tassel earrings I wore to my birthday dinner), and I noticed that they let you do this “pick your pendant” thing where you select 3 simple gold necklaces, all different lengths, that you can wear together or apart. And you get a discount off the normal individual prices. There aren’t a ton of options, but that’s probably good for me because, again, I’m no good at this layering necklaces thing.
So here’s what I picked. Makes me look like a legit fashion blogger, right? The perfectionist in me is kind of annoyed that they never seem to line up correctly, but I’m trying to let it go. Maybe I’m just meant to be a one-necklace-at-a-time kind of girl. A necklace monogamist, if you will. Except last Friday, when it was a straight up necklace orgy.
*Clutch purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Shopbop.
This house is so lucky we moved in. I mean it was already pretty cute on the inside, but our front stoop updates really make a big difference. Now the house says “hey, cool ladies live here.” In case you’re one of those paranoid people who thinks it’s dangerous for me to put photos of my house on the Internet for all this stalkers and weirdos to see: settle down. Sure, if someone who reads this blog really wants to track me down and stab me, they can probably figure out where I live. My house is not invisible — otherwise I wouldn’t bother painting the door lime green. But if someone shows up at my house holding a knife, guess what? I’m not letting them in unless they’re holding baked goods in the other hand.
Now that everyone’s convinced that (1) I’m relatively safe, and (2) my house is adorable, I just have to give a quick shout out to Erin of Currently Coveting for inspiring this outfit!
I don’t believe in fate. Just a minute ago I yelled at someone on a TV show for saying the universe was trying to tell her something. The universe does not care. The universe cannot tell you anything because it’s space.
So how did this blue, white, and chartreuse patterned scarf and this blue, white, and chartreuse patterned dress that came from two different stores in two different seasons both make their way to my closet? No, not fate. Just my excellent taste in colors and patterns. If I had had some heavenly guidance, I might have realized sooner that they would look great with each other. But who needs fate when you have good (if delayed) instincts? What matters is my scarf and my dress are together now, and they’ve never been happier.
*Dress provided courtesy of Boohoo.
Did you notice my earrings? They’re very subtle. Just wanted to make sure.
You didn’t think I was done talking about my birthday, did you? Because I’m totally not. But I will be in just a minute, I swear.
A weekday birthday just means you get to extend the celebration through the weekend, when you can actually get your friends together to spoil you with attention and presents and drinks. I was lucky to have lots of cool people go out of their way to hang out with me in two different shifts on Saturday. In the afternoon I went to New Day, which is a bar that just serves craft meads and ciders. I usually don’t like super sweet drinks, but I was pleasantly surprised that I liked all 6 of the samples in my flight! These weren’t like syrupy honey wines I’ve had before (yuck); they were all light and yummy. After a nap (#thisis30), I went back out with more friends for Mediterranean food (one of my favorites) at Canal Bistro. One of my friends told the waiter it was my 21st birthday and he believed her, bless his heart. Best birthday gift I could have asked for. So basically, lots of fun and deliciousness was enjoyed by all. Great birthday week.
And one of the best parts of any birthday is having an excuse to dress fancier than everyone else, and sometimes fancier than is really acceptable for what you’re doing. YES, I WILL WEAR GINORMOUS EARRINGS FOR DAY DRINKING. IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY 2 DAYS AGO.
Two birthday gifts, both yellow, are featured in this outfit: the dress (from Kristin) and the sunglasses (from myself). I was excited about both of them, so I figured why not wear them together? And then I went really nuts and threw in some more yellow with the shoes. Was this going over the yellow line? I knew whom to ask: my sister. She loves yellow, and she can pull off wearing it better than I can because she inexplicably has this natural olive skin tone even though we (allegedly) have the same parents.
Here’s how our text conversation went:
Me: I thought you’d be a good person to ask: am I wearing too much yellow today? [attached outfit selfie]
Kathryn: There is no such thing as “too much yellow.”
Kathryn again: Even on a bad day big bird looks fabulous.
Me: This is why I asked you. Because I already left the house.
So there you have it. The Harrell sisters are unanimous: I look amazing.
Seriously, though. I love this dress, and it’s perfect for this time of year because it’s comfortable for hot August weather, but the shade of yellow kind of says “psst…it’s almost fall…and I’m ready.” Picture this dress with a cardigan and boots. Totally works, right? If I were still a student, this would be the perfect back-to-school-shopping purchase.
And speaking of back to school shopping, for those of you in the Indianapolis area, join me in trying to fit in with the cool kids at the Macy’s at Castleton Square Mall this Saturday, Aug. 22, at 2pm for the Back to School Shopping party! Not that we need an excuse to go shopping, but there will be snacks, a DJ, mini manicures, and free gifts with purchase. The event is free, and you can find details here (there are BTS shopping parties at other locations this month too). Hope to see you there! I’ll be the one without any kids in tow, looking totally out of place. Take pity on me and come say hello. [Disclosure: I am being compensated for sharing information about the Macy’s Back to School Shopping Party.]
A big ol’ thank you to everybody who commented on last Thursday’s post to wish me a happy birthday. It made me feel like 30 is a special club where all the members do awesome things. But if the next decade doesn’t go well, I’m blaming all of you for getting my hopes up.
Technically the photos I posted on my birthday still showed my 29-year-old self, but this is what I wore on my actual birthday. I had to go to work, but I gave myself the gift of a relaxed dress code because, well, I felt like it and it was my birthday.
Then I spent the evening with my other half. We drank yummy prosecco on a nice patio, then hit up all my favorite stores at my favorite mall and spent the birthday money my parents sent me (they know my taste so well). Then we had to leave the mall because it closed…I started a campaign for extended hours on my birthday but so far, no progress. Next year I’ll make a hashtag and get some celebrity endorsers maybe.
To replenish the calories we burned while shopping, we scarfed down some delicious food at Hopcat. Then we went home and watched Netflix. Granted, we watch Netflix every night, but still. If that’s not an amazing way to celebrate my old age, I don’t know what is.
*Shirt purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Shopbop.
“Every woman needs a pigeon-print shirt in her closet,” said no one ever. If I had a nickel for every non-essential thing in my closet, I would have enough to buy several more pigeon-print shirts (never hurts to have backup). If you ask me, a closet full of “must-haves” and “basics” isn’t a closet at all – it’s a uniform shop. That’s why I buy cheeky things like pigeon-print shirts to remind myself that I don’t live in a communist state. And then I mix them in with my government-issued practical navy skirt and shoes. It’s still very rebellious, trust me.